MANILA, Philippines -- Young Ginebra forward Arvin Tolentino is making the most of the time given to him by head coach Tim Cone.
With the Gin Kings plagued by injuries to key players, Tolentino has stepped up and helped the defending PBA Governors' Cup champion open their campaign with three consecutive victories.
Tolentino, in his second season in the league, posted back-to-back career highs in their last two assignments to emerge as the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period Dec. 15-19.
He took the award ahead of teammate Christian Standhardinger and Magnolia's Calvin Abueva.
Tolentino got additional playing time with Aljon Mariano, Joe Devance, Stanley Pringle, and Jared Dillinger all sidelined, and he responded by netting 16 points in a 108-82 rout of the All-Filipino NorthPort last Friday.
It was a career-best output for Tolentino, but he reset the mark just two days later when he scored 20 points in Ginebra's hard-earned 125-121 overtime win against Phoenix Super LPG. Tolentino nailed three three-pointers, the last of which came with 1:59 left in the extra period to give the Gin Kings the lead, 120-119.
Tolentino averaged 18 points, making seven of 20 three-pointers over two games, while adding 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 steal per contest.
"That is gonna help Arvin down the road too, being able to play big minutes, meaningful minutes down the stretch. It's gonna help his confidence," said Cone.
"I think Arvin really opens it up for a lot of guys out there. He just gotta keep shooting. Just gotta keep shooting. Even if I'm yelling at him, he still gotta keep shooting."