Tolentino impresses Ateneo fans in UAAP debut
Mark Escarlote on Feb 04, 2017 09:11 PM
I think I don't really know, I'm kind of in shock still. I think they've been very supportive, and that's been a motivating factor for me and for sure it's all positive for me -- Kat Tolentino
Wherever the Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles play, expect fans and supporters to follow.
They can fill the arena and intimidate the opponents with their loud cheers.
Freshman Kat Tolentino finally got a chance to feel the love of the blue and white faithful.
And she gave them something to cheer about.
Tolentino scored all but one of her eight points from kills in Ateneo’s 25-20, 25-21, 25-22, demolition of University of Sto. Tomas in the Lady Eagles’ first game post-Alyssa Valdez era Saturday to open the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Big Dome.
“I think I don't really know, I'm kind of in shock still. I think they've been very supportive, and that's been a motivating factor for me and for sure it's all positive for me,” said the 6-foot-2 open hitter, who had an impressive 7-of-15 attacking clip.
Tolentino was supposed to play last season but sustained a knee injury during a pre-season tournament that delayed her entry to the squad.
But the 22-year-old player couldn’t ask for a better welcome from the fans of the country’s arguably most popular collegiate team.
“Coming into the UAAP, it's all positive reviews, so it's definitely encouraging to come into the season with that mentality and with that perception of me,” Tolentino said. “But at the same time, it's still somewhat pressuring, because I have an expectation to fulfill, and I think whether or not I fulfill that for whoever is expecting me, however I play, I'm just happy that I finished the game.”
Talking about her first collegiate game, Tolentino admitted that she felt a little jittery but her teammates helped her overcome it and just play her game.
“I don't have words right now. It's just surreal right now. The team was super supportive and it made it so much better than I could have ever imagined,” she said. “The nerves of course were there but everyone was just always trying to help calm me down, and I think I couldn't have asked for a better first game. I'm thankful to be able to get through that first game, being healthy and of course not getting hurt.”
Tolentino is expected to deliver the same numbers on Wednesday when the Lady Eagles shoot for their second straight win against National University, which is also coming off a win.
But for her first game, the Ateneo fans surely gave Tolentino a thumbs up.
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