Kat Tolentino hopes to finally experience winning UAAP title before leaving Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines—Kat Tolentino was supposed to be part of the 2015 Ateneo team that won the UAAP women’s volleyball title but a knee injury prevented her from even stepping into the padded floors.
She had spend quite some time on the sidelines recovering from the anterior cruciate ligament tear in her right knee but being healthy for the past three years, she only has one goal in mind—to win that elusive title.
“I’m hoping to get that championship before I leave,” said Tolentino Friday at Blue Eagle Gym in Ateneo after the team’s practice.
Tolentino was one of Ateneo’s best players in Season 80 tallying a total of 185 points to become the ninth best scorer in the league and the second-highest scoring Lady Eagle behind Jhoanna Maraguinot who had a total of 203 points.
She’s also seen gradual improvement from the team that struggled to return to championship form since three-time UAAP MVP and two-time champion Alyssa Valdez graduated in 2016.
“I think it’s really a good year for the team because we’re really blending in well with coach O’s [Oliver Almadro] system and you can see the improvement since our training in July last year,” said Tolentino. “I’m really happy with the team.”
Tolentino knows that getting to the championship round, a place Ateneo has been in for six straight seasons beginning in 2012 until 2017, will require the combined efforts of a rather polarizing roster.
The Lady Eagles have a mixed bag of seniors in Tolentino, captain Bea De Leon, co-captain Maddie Madayag, Kim Gequillana, and Ponggay Gaston, and a ton of rookies.
“It’s a challenge because the majority of the team is made up of rookies and at the same time we have quite a few seniors in Bea, Maddie, and Kim and they’ve taken up the leadership role,” said Tolentino.
“It’s not too bad because we have our own goal and coach O has given us that role since the beginning so we all prepared and we all contributed to the team in any way we can.”
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