Ex-UAAP standouts Arvin Tolentino, Kib Montalbo join MPBL
MANILA, Philippines – Former Far Eastern University standout Arvin Tolentino and La Salle captain Kib Montalbo lead the latest batch of collegiate stars set to join the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
Batangas City Athletics, the inaugural staging champion, tapped the services of Tolentino, while the retooled Makati Super Crunch acquired Montalbo.
Aside from Montalbo, the Super Crunch will also bring in PBA journeyman point guard Simon Atkins, who was released recently by the Meralco Bolts, along with Juneric Baloria and big man Rino Berame.
Baloria and Berame are the latest transferees for the Super Crunch to be handled by head coach Cholo Villanueva.
Super Crunch was one of the hottest teams in the recent MPBL Datu Cup, but faltered in the playoffs and lost to the Quezon City Capitals in the northern division quarterfinal round.
“We were able to address our weaknesses from last season following the inclusion of these players,” Villanueva said. “With Juneric, we were able to get a player who has an experience in the playoffs and an additional gunner. With KIb, he gives us the youth and energy. Simon will give us the experience and extra stability at the point guard spot while Berame will definitely provide us the size that we badly needed.”
Batangas similarly expects the versatile 6-foot-4 Tolentino to add youth and energy to their roster.
Tolentino wasn’t the only key addition to the Athletics lineup as the team also nabbed ex-pro Jason Melano.
Melano, a 6-foot-3 forward, was supposed to play for the Caloocan Supremos after his contract with the Bulacan Kuyas ended. But the former Blackwater player in the PBA couldn’t come to terms with the Supremos and the Athletics immediately took advantage and signed up the versatile forward.
“With Melano and Tolentino, we have players capable of playing both the No. 3 and No. 4 spots,” said Batangas City team executive Jean Alabanza. – Rappler.com