MANILA, Philippines -- Arvin Tolentino was quick to make his presence felt for the NorthPort Batang Pier.
NorthPort acquired Tolentino just a couple of days before the start of the 2022 PBA Commissioners' Cup, in a trade that sent sophomore forward Jamie Malonzo to Barangay Ginebra.
While Malonzo was the centerpiece of the trade, Tolentino immediately showed that he has something to offer his new team as he provided much-needed firepower for the Batang Pier in their first two games of the tournament.
He averaged 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 steals in the past weeks, which saw NorthPort split its assignments. Tolentino also shot 47% from long distance, and earned a unanimous nod as the tournament's first Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period Sept. 21-24.
"Ang iniisip ko, gusto ako ni coach Pido (Jarencio). Gusto ako ng NorthPort. I don't want to think na ayaw sa akin ng Ginebra," said Tolentino, who was selected 10th overall by the Gin Kings in the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft.
"I want to prove to them na hindi sila nagkamali. 'Yun 'yung mentality na nilalagay ko.," he added.
Tolentino showed what he was capable of in his very first game for NorthPort, contributing 16 points, seven assists, six rebounds, four blocks, and two steals in a 92-89 escape over Phoenix Super LPG.
Against the Bay Area Dragons, Tolentino tallied 22 points, 10 rebounds, and three steals. The Batang Pier just fell short of a 2-0 record after Bay Area's Myles Powell drilled a buzzer-beating triple for a 105-104 win.
Also considered for the weekly citation being handed out by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat were Tolentino's NorthPort teammate Robert Bolick, Blackwater's Baser Amer, Troy Rosario, and Rashawn McCarthy.