Ateneo’s Kat Tolentino overcomes 3 ACL tears on way to 1st UAAP title
MANILA, Philippines—Kat Tolentino has had a journey unlike any other in Ateneo’s champion team in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Eagles’ talisman almost didn’t make the lineup after she tore her anterior cruciate ligament thrice during the first year of collegiate career.
Still, Tolentino was able to power through the career-threatening injuries and help the Lady Eagles to their third UAAP title.
Tolentino finished with 18 points in the Lady Eagles’ Game 3 win, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22, a victory that she described as the culmination of her seemingly improbable journey to the top.
“After my third ACL tear, I wasn’t sure I was going to play,” said Tolentino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. “So I think having this championship and being here today is something that makes me speechless.”
Tolentino made her UAAP debut in 2017 and has since become an integral part of Ateneo’s Final Four teams in Seasons 79 and 80.
Season 81’s Best Opposite Hitter said the ACL injuries she’s endured in the first year of her career gave her the passion in playing the sport that broke her into the public consciousness.
“I’m just thankful to God for making not just the journey hard but it was something that was memorable because without those three ACL injuries I wouldn’t have had as much passion and I think I wouldn’t be here of course,” said Tolentino.
“Those injuries made me the player I am today and I’m also thankful for Him for keeping me healthy this season.”
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