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Gilas prospect Sage Tolentino gets offer from University of Kansas

Gilas Pilipinas prospect Sage Tolentino (Photo from Sage Tolentino’s Instagram account @sagee23_)

Gilas Pilipinas prospect Sage Tolentino is gaining more interest from NCAA Division I schools in the United States.

The 7-footer Tolentino announced in a social media post Friday that he received an athletic scholarship offer from powerhouse University of Kansas.

“Blessed to receive an offer from Kansas. Thanks to Coach [Bill] Self and Coach [Kurtis] Townsend for believing in me. All glory to God!” the Filipino-Hawaiian center wrote on Instagram.

Aside from three-time NCAA champion Kansas, University of Kentucky and Auburn University have also set sights on Tolentino.

The Kansas Jayhawks, which went 17-1 in the Big 12 conference last season, were leading the current rankings before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to halt its games.

“I feel good, great. Yeah. Kansas has a great coaching staff. They really want me and they’re interested,” Tolentino said in an interview with Hawaii Prep World, a sports website focusing on the island state’s high school events.

“I really like their facilities and their school. I saw it on a Zoom call. They also talked to me about their winning program and their championships. I was very surprised, but also thankful to get another offer.”

The 16-year-old Tolentino is currently working out while at home quarantine in Oahu for two weeks now, the report added.

“I’ve been working out every day. I have a bar and some plates, and I’m shooting, working on my form. I want to shoot higher. Higher arch and higher release,” he said.

Tolentino is also training under the Atlanta-based East-West Private, the same management company handling 7-foot-2 Filipino prodigy Kai Sotto.

The two towering centers met last month during the Father’s Day celebration of the firm.

“It’s good for me to play better competition, bigger guys, more skillful and at the college level,” Tolentino said. “It’s good to have a run with players like them [in East-West Private]. I was there for close to a month.”

In a separate interview with KHON2, Tolentino said he will not be rushing any decisions since he has two more playing years in high school.

Tolentino, however, did not discount the fact that the offers are just the beginning toward his dream of playing in the NBA – just like his compatriot Sotto.

“I think it’s just the beginning but it’s still good for me. Just the beginning,” Tolentino said.

“No commitment, no pressure. Just live my life and just keep working hard on academics and school and just work hard for my dream to make the NBA.”

Tolentino, an incoming junior from Maryknoll High School, helped the Spartans capture back-to-back titles (2019-2020) in the Hawaiian High School Athletics Association (HHSAA) Division I Boys Basketball State Championship.

Named the tournament’s most outstanding player, Tolentino averaged 13.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. (Jan Carlo Anolin) ###

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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