MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo de Manila University head coach Oliver Almadro is not losing hope that Kat Tolentino will still change her mind about playing for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82.
Tolentino, the Best Opposite Hitter in Season 81, "signed off" from the UAAP last Saturday after helping the Lady Eagles win the women's volleyball championship.
It was a decision that Tolentino had long made, even before the season started.
"Even starting the season, I told myself that if we won the championship this year, that would be enough for me, and I would be satisfied and be able to move on to the next chapter of my life," she told ABS-CBN News.
Tolentino intends to play club volleyball moving forward, and has offers from teams in the Philippine Superliga and the Premier Volleyball League.
However, Almadro remains hopeful that he can convince Tolentino to change her mind – the same way he convinced Season 81 Finals MVP Bea de Leon to play in her final year for Ateneo.
"I'm trying to convince her. Like naman si Bea before, I tried to convince her, pero ayaw pa sumagot," he said.
"I'm giving Kat time to rest, to enjoy her vacation, and I'm sure she'll be playing naman sa club team. So I'm letting her play and decide," he added.
Tolentino still has plenty of time to change her mind, as the next UAAP season is still a long way off. In the meantime, Almadro said he will continue to pray that the towering Fil-Canadian will receive good guidance.
"We will keep on praying that she will have the right discernment to help the team," said the coach. "And I'm sure she will be guided by the Lord to have the right direction."
Tolentino, who suffered three ACL injuries before finally debuting for Ateneo in Season 79, did not rule out a return completely.
"Like Coach O said, you'll never know. It's all in God's plan. We can't really decide for ourselves because He could bring other opportunities for me, so I don't really know. But as of right now, I've decided that," she said.
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