Just like that Ginebra’s momentum in its semifinal series against Star came to a halt.
After two straight wins to even the series, the Gin Kings faltered, 89-80, allowing the Hotshots to take 3-2 series lead and point guard LA Tenorio knows just what happened.
“We were there physically but not mentally,” said Tenorio Friday at Mall of Asia Arena after the Kings’ Game 5 loss in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
READ: Star takes pivotal Game 5 from Ginebra
“We lost because we weren’t mentally focused and we weren’t at our hundred percent, they wanted it more than us.”
After falling behind early in the series, 0-2, the Kings won the next two games by an average margin of 8.5 points.
Game 5, however, was a different story altogether.
Though Ginebra tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, a 14-5 run to cut Star’s 82-66 lead to 87-80, everything went south with 2:20 left as the Hotshots held on to finish things off.
READ: Star nears Finals
Tenorio has been a visual non-factor for Ginebra this series, averaging just 7.2 points on a 26.8 percent shooting from the field, along with 4.4 assists.
His Game 5 stat line did nothing to improve his series average when he shot 2-of-11, scored just five points and dished out a single assist—his worst output far in the semifinals.
Tenorio said if they plan to turn things around, they need a different mental outlook as one slip leads to elimination for Ginebra.
“We really have to be physically and mentally focused heading into the next game, we can’t afford to make mistakes and lapses especially defensively.”