PBA: NorthPort slump leaves Arvin Tolentino stumped

Arvin Tolentino PBA Philippine Cup NorthPort

Northport star Arvin Tolentino in the PBA Philippine Cup. —PBA IMAGES

NorthPort ace Arvin Tolentino had little to say about the Batang Pier’s four-game slump that had the club looking different from the mighty team it was at the start of the PBA Philippine Cup.

“I really don’t know, too,” he told reporters in Filipino on Sunday night, shortly after his team figured on the nasty end of a 120-100 blowout at the hands of San Miguel at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

“I think our schedule became tough. We played one big team after another. But then again, it’s hard to blame it on that because losing isn’t the schedule’s fault,” he went on.

READ: PBA: Northport still believes its quarterfinals chances

After dropping its conference-opener against NLEX, NorthPort went on a four-game tear against Converge, Phoenix, Meralco and then TNT. The Batang Pier, however, fell to traditional powerhouses Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra, scrappy Rain or Shine, or the defending champion Beermen.

“I can’t pinpoint what exactly doomed us but I’ll just look at the positive side of that (earlier) stretch, which is we had quite a nice experience,” Tolentino said.

Winning four straight, which also saw NorthPort emerge as an early leader in several team statistical races, is something that will benefit the Batang Pier’s youth brigade, which includes rookies Cade Flores, Fran Yu, and Zav Lucero, and relative newcomers like Will Navarro and even Joshua Munzon.And so should losing four straight games.

So count on NorthPort to try to turn things around starting this Wednesday against Terrafirma, especially with a playoff appearance still well within reach for the Batang Pier.

“That has become our focus right after the [San Miguel] game,” Tolentino said of the match against the Dyip which tips off 4:30 p.m. at Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Malate, Manila.