LA Tenorio didn’t only help map out plays for the Letran Knights as part of their coaching staff, he actually even played with the team.
The veteran Barangay Ginebra guard said he began practicing with the Knights since the start of the buildup for the NCAA Season 97 Finals against Mapua since the PBA season was already over by then.
By being on the floor with the team, Tenorio said he was personally able to teach the proper execution of Letran’s plays, not to mention toughening up the team’s backcourt rotation of Fran Yu, Kurt Reyson, and Tommy Olivario.
“Actually nakiki-practice na ako sa team (starting nung finals),” said the 37-year-old playmaker, noting Ginebra had already won the Governors’ Cup championship when the NCAA Final Four was about to begin.
“So may time ako para makapaglaro sa kanila in practice,” Tenorio added. “Pinapagod nga nila ako, e.”
The Knights and Tenorio reaped the fruit of that labor on Sunday night when the Muralla-based school retained its NCAA men’s basketball title with a 75-65 win over the Mapua Cardinals for a 2-0 sweep of the finals.
Led by rookie-MVP Rhenz Abando and Finals MVP Jeo Ambohot, the Knights celebrated before a full-house crowd at the FilOil Flying V Arena their first back-to-back titles since winning the crown in 1998 and 1999 behind a team backstopped by Kerby Raymundo.
Tenorio, one of coach Bonnie Tan’s deputies at Letran, refused to take credit for helping the Knights prepare for their title series with the Cardinals. Besides, he said playing together with the team also has its own benefit for him.
“Naku-kundisyon na ako agad. Takbuhan ng takbuhan yung mga bata,” said Tenorio.
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