Ateneo’s Tolentino committed to PVL squad, still undecided on UAAP

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ATENEO volleyball star Kat Tolentino in action against the De La Salle Lady Spikers in UAAP Season 82. (UAAP Season 82)

CURRENTLY in Canada to be with her family amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Ateneo volleyball star Kat Tolentino said she is still in contact with her Premier Volleyball League team here and remains committed to it but is undecided on her future in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

Found herself back with her parents earlier than expected after the UAAP Season 82 volleyball was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Tolentino, who was the guest in the recent episode of Tiebreaker Vods’ So She Did!, shared that she is doing okay in their place in Richmond, trying to keep busy and squeeze in some physical activity.

The Ateneo opposite hitter went on to say that despite not being in the country right now, she is in constant contact with the Choco Mucho squad in the PVL and keeping tabs on the goings-on and the direction the team is heading to once play resumes.

“I’m doing okay here. They (the government) are allowing us to do more stuff. There is more freedom. I’m working out from home because I have to be ready. There is still the PVL with Choco Mucho,” said Ms. Tolentino, 25, on So She Did!, which is powered by Smart.

The truncated Season 82 of the UAAP was supposed to be the final year of Ms. Tolentino in the league, and to have it cut short the way it did was “heartbreaking,” she said.

“It was not even half [a season], it was like two games played. Definitely it was heartbreaking because I was excited to come back. As you know, I decided first not to play then I decided to come back. And to experience such excitement for just two games was just heartbreaking at first.”

Eventually though she came to terms with it, recognizing the current situation with the pandemic is bigger than volleyball.

“Safety first,” she underscored.

When the UAAP decided with finality to scrap the remainder of the season in April as COVID-19 took further root in the country and mitigating measures against it were raised, Ms. Tolentino and the defending champions Lady Eagles were sporting a 1-1 record, defeating the University of the Philippines in three sets in their first game before bowing to the De La Salle Lady Spikers in their assignment.

Recently, the UAAP management said players like Ms. Tolentino whose final year was cut in Season 82 could still be allowed to play provided they meet certain requirements.

It is something that the Ateneo volleyball star said she welcomes but still undecided on.

“I’d be thankful if they allow me to go back, but I can’t say anything [right now] sorry,” she said.

Adding, “But I can’t [also] say anything right now if I would want to go back just because we’re living in such a weird situation right now and I don’t know where I’ll be next year, or if I’ll still be here in Canada or whatever.”

In the two games they played in UAAP Season 82, Ms. Tolentino averaged 10.5 points.

The PVL, meanwhile, is angling to open its new season late this year. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo