Garcia: We want Tolomia to take the place of Lee | Inquirer Sports

Garcia: We want Tolomia to take the place of Lee

/ 08:18 PM November 03, 2016

mike tolomia rain or shine

Rain or Shine with draft pick Mike Tolomia. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Almost over a decade after Chester Tolomia last donned the Welcoat jersey, his brother Mike now gets a chance to do the same, this time under the Rain or Shine banner in the PBA.

“Masaya ako kasi dati nung PBL, naging team ito ng kuya ko,” he said Sunday after being picked in the Gilas round of the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft. “Dati pinapanood ko lang yung Rain or Shine. Ngayon, makakalaro na ako sa PBA.”

The brothers had a chance to play alongside each other with Zambales M-Builders in the PBA D-League back in 2014.

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Now, it’s the 23-year-old Mike’s turn for the spotlight as he tries to make a name for himself in the pro league.

Despite the pressure that comes along with being drafted, the Far Eastern U slasher would rather focus on learning from his veteran teammates.

“Positive lang ako. Mga beterano naman ang teammates ko dito,” he said, alluding to his soon-to-be teammates James Yap, Jeff Chan, and Chris Tiu. “Sa tingin ko marami akong matututunan sa kanila so gagamitin ko yun as motivation din para sa akin.”

Next Paul Lee?

Coach Caloy Garcia, meanwhile, expressed a lot of confidence on what Tolomia can bring to a rebuilding Elasto Painters crew, especially after losses in their fort in the offseason.

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“The thing with Mike Tolomia is we want him to take the place of Paul Lee,” he said, referring to the hole left by the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP.

Garcia also believes that Tolomia won’t have a hard time adjusting to his system, with him already aware of what his rookie’s capabilities after their numerous wars in the PBA D-League.

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“We run simple plays naman that will allow him to create. When he played in FEU and in Phoenix, yun ang nakikita ko sa kanya, na madali sya mag-pick up ng play. I think he’s fit with our style of play.”

Tolomia also feels the same way, expressing gratitude on the trust Garcia is giving him.

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“Maraming beses na rin kami nagkalaban ni coach Caloy, so sa tingin ko, alam na alam na nya yung laro ko,” he said.

TAGS: Mike Tolomia, PBA, Rain or Shine, Tolomia

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