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Arvin Tolentino named PBA Player of the Week

Young forward Arvin Tolentino has provided the Barangay Ginebra Kings with some much-needed production in the wake of injuries suffered by the stars of the league’s most popular team.

For that, the former Far Eastern University ace has been named the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period Dec. 15-19.

The sophomore big man has posted back-to-back career highs in the team’s last two outings to help Ginebra get off to a 3-0 start in the import-laden tournament. Getting additional playing time as injuries shut down Aljon Mariano, Joe Devance, Stanley Pringle, and Jared Dillinger, Tolentino initially warmed up by finishing with 16 points, including four three-pointers, in a 108-82 Ginebra rout of import-less NorthPort to establish a new PBA career-high.

But the former Far Eastern University standout proved he’s truly up to the task when he set a new career record by hitting three from beyond the arc for 20 points as the reigning champion clawed its way back late in regulation to outlast Phoenix in overtime, 125-121.

Tolentino hit the last of his three treys with 1:59 left in the extra period to give the Kings a 120-119 lead and the extra push they needed to finish off the Fuel Masters.

In the two career games he recorded, Tolentino averaged 18 points on 7-of-20 shooting from downtown and added 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 steals.

“That will help Arvin down the road, too, being able to play big minutes, meaningful minutes down the stretch, and it’s going to help his confidence,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone of the extra minutes earned by Tolentino.

“I think Arvin really opens it up for a lot of guys out there. And he just has to keep on shooting. Even if I’m yelling at him, he just has to keep on shooting.”

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