RELATIVE unfamiliarity with a new coach’s system would not prevent LA Tenorio from producing a career game.
Barangay Ginebra’s prized playmaker took charge in the stretches that mattered most, leading the Kings to a much-needed win while earning for himself the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period Aug. 19 to 25.
Tenorio scored a new career-best 34 points and also notched seven rebounds and as many assists in Ginebra’s 98-85 triumph over Meralco last Saturday, the crowd favorites’ first win in two Governors Cup starts.
As is typical of him, Tenorio prefers to spread the credit. “I had been given the opportunity again to take charge sa game and isa iyun sa mga games na kapag on the groove iyung player dire-deretso lang,” he said.
“Siguro may halong s’werte na rin and with the support of my teammates din kaya nagawa ko iyun.”
“LA is LA at alam naman nating kayang-kaya niyang mag-explode anytime, lalong lalo na kapag kailangan ng team,” noted Agustin.
“He was very aggressive and took care of the ball so well,” added Agustin.
What makes the performance more impressive is the fact Tenorio was not yet fully attuned to new coach Ato Agustin’s system since he and teammate Japeth Aguilar were busy with their Gilas Pilipinas duties in-between conferences.
“Wala pa kaming dalawang linggo ni Japeth na nag-e-ensayo sa team. Di pa namin kabisado ang system at rules,” related Tenorio.
There was a collective motivation for Ginebra, however, since it opened up its conference campaign with a 95-101 loss to Petron Blaze, when Tenorio notched nine points and 10 assists.
“The team’s mindset was to get that first win. Alam namin maigsi ang tournament at mahirap mabaon sa ilalim. Iyun din ang mindset ko,” said Tenorio.
Agustin and his staff’s plans for Tenorio were simple.
“They told me at the half ako na bahalang mag-distribute at be ready to play for 24 minutes in the second half. Salamat sa tiwala nila,” said Tenorio.
Fully unleashed Tenorio exploded for 16 of his points in the third period as Ginebra outscored Meralco, 33-25, and went on to notch the cruising victory.
In all, Tenorio highlighted his feat with a perfect 5-for-5 three-point shooting, missed only two of his 13 field goal attempts to eclipse his previous career best of 33 points and committed just two turnovers in 35 minutes. (NC)