Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – The highlight of Mike Tolomia’s UAAP career with the FEU Tamaraws took place under the tutelage of head coach Nash Racela, who’s now likely to take over the play-calling duties for TNT KaTropa in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
So it’s not surprising that Tolomia, who’s part of the PBA Gilas Special Draft, is excited by the prospect of playing for Racela again in the pros.
(Writer’s note: Neither TNT nor Racela officially confirmed his appointment as TNT’s new head coach, but all signs point that way. FEU did confirm Racela will finish Season 79 coaching the Tamaraws).
“Una, yung favorite team ko - Ginebra - tapos sunod yung TNT, kasi nga si Coach Nash na yung head coach duon,” Tolomia responded when asked which teams he sees as a great fit.
(First, my favorite team - Ginebra - then next is TNT, because Coach Nash is now the coach there.)
Ginebra has reportedly already focused in on UST’s Kevin Ferrer as its draft selection.
“Mas madali, kasi syempre siguro sa lahat nang coach ngayon sa PBA, siya yung mas nakakaalam talaga nung game ko, so alam niya kung paano ako gamitin so mas makakatulong saakin yun.”
(It will be easier, because from all the coaches in the PBA, he’s the one who knows my game best, so he knows what ways to use me to highlight my skills.)
Tolomia averaged a career-high 15.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists a game with FEU in 2014. A year later, he helped the Tamaraws win their first UAAP title in 10 years.
When asked what he feels he needs to further improve on for the pros, Tolomia touched on his outside shooting.
“Siguro more on yung outside shooting pa, kasi mas aabangan nila yung drive ko kaysa sa tira ko, so siguro yun yung chance makakatira ako nang open shots.”
(I guess more on my outside shooting, because they’ll be ready for my drives instead of my shooting, so that will be my chance to attempt outside shots.)
Tolomia also feels that the skill he can incorporate fastest in the PBA is his playmaking, which was his best trait with the Tamaraws.
“Kasi lahat na sila duon magagaling eh, so madali nalang yun para saakin mag drive, tapos kick out, tapos shoo-shoot sila.”
(Everyone there is good, so it’ll be easier for me to drive, kick out, and the open guy will shoot.) – Rappler.com