Arvin Tolentino of Northport earned his second PBA Press Corps-Pilipinas Live Player of the Week citation, showcasing his workhorse mentality for the Batang Pier in the Commissioner’s Cup. PBA PHOTO
Over a one-week stretch that witnessed Northport playing three games, Tolentino proved instrumental in the team’s performance, including a remarkable 115-101 upset victory against San Miguel Beer, achieved even in the absence of import Venky Jois.
With Jois sidelined due to a hamstring injury, the 28-year-old Tolentino stepped up admirably, scoring 28 points and securing five rebounds. His sharpshooting from beyond the arc, going 3-of-6, filled the void left by their import and played a crucial role in sealing the stunning win.
This standout performance followed his noteworthy 18-point, three-rebound contribution in a 111-95 win over Converge in a previous game, showcasing his versatility in an off-the-bench role.
Tolentino’s well-rounded performances earned him the Player of the Week recognition for the period of December 6-10. During this week, he averaged 23.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.7 steals. This marks Tolentino’s second Player of the Week honor in the young season, having previously received the accolade from November 8-12.
The competition for the award was intense, with Phoenix rookie Ken Tuffin making a strong case for himself. Tuffin’s pivotal role in Phoenix’s third-quarter comeback against reigning champion Barangay Ginebra, where he scored 13 of his 18 points, contributed significantly to an 82-77 victory in an out-of-town game in San Jose, Batangas.
The outstanding performances of both Tolentino and Tuffin propelled their respective teams into the Top 5 in the standings. Securing a spot in the Top 4 is crucial as those teams enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
While Northport fell short of completing a sweep for the week with a loss to Meralco (125-99), Tolentino still demonstrated his all-around capabilities, finishing with an impressive stat line of 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
Other players nominated for the weekly honor included Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca of Magnolia, Rain or Shine’s Andrei Caracut, Rey Nambatac, and Beau Belga, Meralco’s Allein Maliksi, and Arvin Tolentino himself. The recognition further solidifies Tolentino’s pivotal role in Northport’s campaign and underscores his value as a consistent performer for the Batang Pier.