Ginebra's LA Tenorio (C) drives to the basket against Barako Bull's Jeric Fortuna (L) and Leo Najorda (R). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra LA Tenorio suddenly became “visible” again to basketball fans after exploding with 22 points and leading the Gin Kings to a 98-70 blowout of Barako Bull last Tuesday.
But for Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso, the 5-foot-8 point guard has always been present.
“He wasn’t playing bad in our first three games. He was initiating, getting guys on some spots. He was helping me out by being the floor leader and organizing our plays,” Cariaso told PBA.ph of Tenorio, adding that being a former Alaska player under Tim Cone, Tenorio is perhaps most familiar of the triangle among the Gin Kings.
Cariaso praised the 29-year-old playmaker as a team player, saying he is just finding the right spot for himself in the system.
“You have to remember in our first three games, he was defending. He was guarding Gary David, against GlobalPort, we’re pitting him against the two-guards also,” said the coach.
“Even if his numbers weren’t there, he was there playing for me. And as the conference goes on, I told you that he’s gonna be aggressive and have a big game.”
Tenorio's big game eventually came when he orchestrated a searing 22-0 run for Ginebra between the third and the fourth quarters, which took the fight out of the Energy Cola, who were left reeling by a 51-80 deficit in the payoff period.
“Ganun naman talaga ang triangle. The play is not for a certain player lang. I understand naman 'yung system, medyo iba lang when I was with Alaska. Now, we have a lot of personnel, a lot of talent,” Tenorio said.
“Yung system namin offers equal opportunity to everyone offensively. Last game, si Mark [Caguioa] ang nagdala, before that si Greg [Slaughter] and Zach Mason. Nagkataon lang na ako naman ngayon,” he added.
Now with a 4-1 card, Ginebra gained a share of the lead in the team standings, along with San Mig Coffee and Talk 'N Text.