It was fitting that Arvin played his best game as a pro with someone special watching in the venue.
If the number 13 is widely considered bad luck, the number immediately before it—12—seems to have brought Arvin Tolentino fortunes.
On Sunday, Tolentino dropped a career-high 35 points in NorthPort Batang Pier’s 113-105 win over Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
On November 12, 2022, the streak shooter also scored a then career-best 31 points in a 91-85 win over Terrafirma Dyip at, guess what, the same venue.
Asked about it after the match, Tolentino looked oblivious to that fact.
“Ewan ko. Ngayon ko lang nalaman na 'yung last career high was same day,” he said with a smile. “Sana dito na lang lagi.”
Maybe it's just a coincidence. He later said it could be because of his mother, who watched his game for the first time.
“‘Yung mommy ko first time manood ng game ko. Kasi kabado ‘yun kapag naglalaro ako,” said the self-confessed mama’s boy.
Call it luck or whatever, but Tolentino's offensive outburst allowed the Batang Pier to pick up their second win in as many games while keeping the Elasto Painters winless.
He will need to provide the same firepower the next time NorthPort takes on the court as it tackles the Magnolia Hotshots on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The Hotshots, of course, leaned on Tyler Bey's explosive debut to beat the TNT Tropang Giga on opening day to notch its 12th straight victory dating back to the PBA On Tour.
Rain or Shine, meanwhile, will try to get its first win in this Commissioners' Cup when it takes on the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday.