Title over individual awards

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2020 - 12:00am

Inside the bubble

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY, Pampanga, Philippines — Winning Rookie of the Year honors is not the main objective for strong candidates Aaron Black of Meralco and Arvin Tolentino of Ginebra entering the tailend of the historic 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.

For them, winning the championship weighs heavier than the individual awards.

“I’m not really too worried about it. My number one goal is to live for a championship. That’s really all I’m looking at right now and I will just do anything I can to help the team reach that goal,” Black, the 18th overall pick this year, told The STAR.

“Hindi pumapasok sa isip ko yung individual awards. Individual lang ‘yun eh. Gusto ko makatulong ako sa team para makapasok sa championship. Para lahat masaya,“ said Tolentino, the 10th pick.

Black (18.7 SPs) and Tolentino (14.6) were in second and fifth spots in the ROY race at the end of the elims and quarterfinals. Also in contention are Terrafirma’s Roosevelt Adams (20.3), Magnolia’s Aris Dionisio (17.9) and Alaska’s Barkley Eboña (17.1).

Black (4.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and Tolentino (8.7 ppg, 43 percent 3FG, 4.7 rpg) have provided quality minutes for their experienced squads going deep into the playoffs, boosting their respective chances.

But rather than being hailed as this year’s top rookie, Black and Tolentino would choose to win the championship in this tournament that’s like no other in PBA history.

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