La Salle’s loss is UE’s gain for UAAP Season 81

La Salle’s loss is UE’s gain for UAAP Season 81
Neil Tolentino will be a much welcome addition in the new era dawning over at UE

New head coach Joe Silva will be getting a player who has caused him problems before to help him out in the dawn of a new era in the University of the East.

Silva will now get to coach defensive stopper Neil Tolentino who will be joining the Red Warriors after failing to make the cut in De La Salle University.

In the UAAP Juniors, Silva and Ateneo de Manila High School had several skirmishes with Nazareth School of National University where Tolentino once brought the attitude.

Now, the two will be getting together in UE’s quest for a return to relevance.

For two weeks now, the 6-foot swingman has already been taking part in the Red Warriors’ practices.

This, not long after he was cut from the Green Archers’ roster due to undisclosed reasons.

Tolentino isn't the strongest, fastest, or most skilled, but he will also never be beaten out in terms of heart and hustle. That never back down attitude has always been his calling card ever since he was a Bullpup and all the way to his transfer to Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s Juniors squad.

All throughout his high school career, he has gotten inside the heads of the likes of Aljun Melecio, Jolo Mendoza, Evan Nelle, and Clint Escamis.

In his first and last year as a Squire, the defensive specialist had per game counts of 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while tirelessly playing 28.1 minutes. While those did not jump out at anybody, it was his intangibles that made him a valuable piece of that contending team.

He will be eligible to play for UE right away in the oncoming Season 81 as he was never officially declared for La Salle’s UAAP lineup even after playing for them in the Filoil Preseason.

Aside from Tolentino, sources said that the Red Warriors also have their sights set on Errol Pastor and Ian Herrera – two other players who had spent the preseason with the Green Archers until getting cut due to undisclosed reasons.

Pastor and Herrera, however, have yet to commit.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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