June 25, 2024

PBA: ‘Always ready’ LA Tenorio delivers for Ginebra when it matters most

PBA: ‘Always ready’ LA Tenorio delivers for Ginebra when it matters most
LA Tenorio is always willing to answer the call for Ginebra. | Photo (c) PBA

After emerging victorious in his months-long battle against cancer, LA Tenorio saw himself settle for barking instructions from the bench and becoming a locker room sage for Ginebra.

But whenever the Gin Kings’ backs are against the wall, they can count on the “GINeral” to deliver.

Tenorio did that on Friday night, May 24, as Ginebra battled Meralco for the fourth time in their best-of-seven semifinal showdown in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup.

The 5-foot-9 veteran playmaker started for the Gin Kings and immediately worked his wonders for the squad which banked on a 31-15 start to dismantle the Bolts, 90-71, and draw level in the series at 2-2.

[RELATED STORY: PBA: Christian Standhardinger posts near triple-double as Ginebra shuts down Meralco, levels series]

“When coach Tim (Cone) mentioned it yesterday before practice, ako naman, I’m always ready. Kung ilang minutes man yan, I’m always ready,” said Tenorio, who finished with seven points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals in over 22 minutes of play.

“Even in practice, I always prepare myself to play. Kung ano 'yung routine ko years ago, 'yun pa rin ang ginagawa ko kasi I want to be ready anytime.”

LA Tenorio goes for a layup as Ginebra tangles with Meralco in Game Four of their semifinal encounter in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup. | Photo (c) PBA

 Asked about the decision to start the 39-year-old Tenorio, Ginebra coach Tim Cone said he wanted to switch things up and field someone who completely knows the system.

Tenorio fit the billing.

“LA knows our execution like the back of his hand. He understands it, he knows how to get people in their spots, he knows where their strengths are,” Cone said.

“That was something we were looking for today because we’ve been struggling with our offense, struggling with our execution. We knew that LA could do that.”

[ALSO READ: PBA: Ginebra coach Tim Cone says Meralco deserves Game 3 win]

After Tenorio's stellar play, it will no longer be surprising to see him play more minutes in a series that has shaped up to be another classic.

Whenever given the chance, Tenorio is ready to embrace the challenge as he looks to help Ginebra in any way he can.

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“Given this opportunity again na mag-start again ng game, ready naman ako. I always think of, I’m going to help this team in any way, kahit ilang minutes 'yan. I’m always ready,” Tenorio said.