MANILA, Philippines -- Arvin Tolentino emerged as the x-factor for Barangay Ginebra in Game 5 of the PBA Governors' Cup finals, with his ability to space the floor working wonders for the Gin Kings.
Tolentino netted 16 points against Meralco last Sunday, making four of his nine three-pointers in the game as the Gin Kings rained triples against the Bolts in what turned out to be a 115-110 win.
"Masaya na nakuha namin 'yung panalo this game kasi malaking bagay sa amin 'yun. Two straight, especially in a best-of-seven series," said Tolentino.
He and the Gin Kings now have a 3-2 lead against Meralco, with a chance to wrap up the finals on Wednesday.
"Maganda 'yung naging shooting ko. Swerte. I think sinuwerte ako ngayong laro," he added.
This was Tolentino's best performance of the finals series. He had been scoreless in the past three games, since putting up six points in their Game 1 loss to the Bolts. The former Far Eastern University forward did not see action in Game 2, in the wake of his involvement in a near-fracas with Meralco big man Raymar Jose after Game 1.
Both Tolentino and Jose were reprimanded by PBA commissioner Willie Marcial for the incident. Tolentino said after Game 5 that he has moved past what happened.
"I just let it go and did not really think about it a lot. We never talked about it," he said. "Every time may magtatanong sa akin, parang iwas na lang parang wala na 'yun, okay na 'yun, para hindi na bumalik pa 'yung memory kasi dapat hindi na nangyari 'yun na dapat naiwasan."
"Every time may magtatanong, inaano ko lang, sabi ko okay na 'yun," he added. "It helps 'pag hindi mo na pag-uusapan. Kami, hindi rin naman nila tinanong sa akin. We never talked about it after. Not even once."
Tolentino said that he has regained his focus since Game 1 and is fully locked on their mission in the finals.
"Ang talagang mentality ko is to help the team," said Tolentino. "Kailangan makapag-prepare ako nang maayos para maglaro nang maayos to help the team."
"It does not matter kung maglaro ako or no, basta nandoon ako mag-cheer sa teammates ko, help them every practice para makapag-prepare rin. 'Pag nabigyan ng opportunity, at least prepared ako at makakapaglaro nang maayos," he added.