Two days ago, LA Tenorio celebrated his 34th birthday. But he could not throw a celebration just yet, as the Barangay Ginebra Kings were still figuring in a best-of-three quarterfinals series against heated rivals Meralco Bolts.
Wednesday evening, though, he could finally gather his teammates, friends, and family for a celebration.
Ginebra eliminated Meralco, 104-90, to advance to the semifinals. And Tenorio had a huge imprint in the game.
With Ginebra leading by as much as 18 points, 85-67, the Bolts went on a 14-2 run to cut the lead down to just six with less than five minutes left in the contest. Not wanting his plans ruined, Tenorio converted a booming triple off a timeout to quell the rally the Bolts were trying to continue.
“LA was just being.
“LA, he’s such a big moment guy and that was a big moment shot,” shared Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “They brought a nineteen-point lead down to six and very quickly so we were on our heels, that was a big shot, and it was a well contested shot too.”
“Actually, ‘di naman ‘yun ‘yung nagpanalo, [‘yung] nagpanalo pa rin for us is really our team defense,” Tenorio opined. “Siguro, pamatay sunog lang talaga after their big run in the fourth quarter.
“Sakin, sana ‘di na nga umabot sa ganun. Again, ‘di naman talaga madali yung series. Actually, to be honest, during the game, ‘di pa ako kumportable e, alam kong babalik sila,” the 12-year veteran admitted. “They did. They had a big run in the fourth quarter.
“Siguro, yung defense lang namin towards the end of the game kept us in the game.”
That three-pointer proved to be the backbreaker, as it led to a 104-90 win.
Now that this round is done for, Tenorio can now sit back and enjoy the day.
“Puwede na. Puwede na. For tonight, makapag-celebrate na kahit papano. Celebrate tonight, then tomorrow, we’ll be back working again. Although di pa namin alam sino kalaban naming,” said Tenorio, who had 11 points, five assists, and three steals in the contest.
“Good thing is advantage namin, makapag-prepare kami sa dalawang team, makapagpahinga kahit papano.”