PBA: Arvin Tolentino scores 35, NorthPort beats Rain or Shine
ANTIPOLO — Arvin Tolentino scored a career-best 35 points as NorthPort whipped Rain or Shine, 113-103, for a perfect start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday.
The Batang Pier star capped his spectacular performance with a dunk over Elasto Painters veteran Gabe Norwood heading into the final two minutes of the clash at Ynares Center here, ultimately helping his squad to a second straight win in the race.
“I think everyone contributed in today’s game. Especially our rookies—they were incredible today. They are not playing like rookies. And the other guys as well, they were amazing for their hustle and effort,” said Tolentino.
“And Venky’s attitude. He’s contagious on the floor. Overall, we had a great game today.”
Import Venky Jois was just as steady, putting up 30 points and 21 rebounds after a strong debut in the win over Terrafirma last Friday.
Joshua Munzon had 15 points, JM Calma 11 while rookie Cade Flores 10 more, rounding out the double-digit performers for a NorthPort squad missing several steady standouts: Paul Zamar, William Navarro and Paolo Taha.
DaJuan Summers finished with 32 points and nine rebounds, while Santi Santillan chipped in 15 more for Rain or Shine, which stayed winless after two matches.
Tolentino’s last career-high came exactly a year ago after Sunday’s milestone, also at the same hilltop arena. The Asian Games champion had 31 points against Terrafirma in that game.
“We really prepared for this season. We just readied to give our best every game. And because we have Venky as an import. I think that’s what lifted us to 2-0.,” said Tolentino.
“Hopefully, the momentum continues, but we have Magnolia next which is a tough assignment. But we’ll do our best.”