LA Tenorio recognizes Barangay Ginebra is one ballclub that is teeming with firepower.
But for all that to explode, he knows he has to provide the spark.
“Okay lang naman kasi maraming firepower sa team na ito," said the 5-8 Ginebra guard, "though it has to start with me para madala ko yung buong team.”
That mentality should explain Tenorio's aggressiveness in a 98-85 Ginebra win over Meralco on Saturday night, when he scored a career-high 34 points behind a 5-of-5 clip from behind the arc to go with seven rebounds and seven assists.
More importantly, Tenorio's gung-ho attitude rubbed off on the entire team, with Mark Caguioa, Japeth Aguilar, rookie Chris Ellis, and import Dior Lowhorn following the 'Tinyente's' lead as the Gin Kings wrapped up their first win under new coach Ato Agustin.
(For full game story, see Tenorio's career-high 34 points power Ginebra to victory over Meralco)
Tenorio, coming off a starring role in Gilas Pilipinas' runner-up finish behind Iran in the Fiba-Asia championships, said he made a conscious effort to be a lot more aggressive in the match against Meralco after his passive performance in a loss to Petron last week.
“Iyung last game kasi medyo di ako masyado naging aggressive offensively and defensively so I think siguro, ito yung adjustment na ginawa ko going to this game, kasi medyo short kami last game,” Tenorio told Spin.ph, looking back at the 95-101 loss to Petron.
It was different this time.
Against Meralco, the cat-quick Ginebra guard kept the defense guessing as he immediately took control of the game. When he’s not shooting, he's either setting up teammates for a shot inside or from the perimeter.
“Sinasabi ko nga sa mga teammates ko, go to the right spot and I’ll give you the ball," said the former Ateneo star.
With a tournament that features a brief nine-game elimination round, Tenorio said Ginebra can't afford to rest easy. "We need to be aggressive. Hindi kami puwede maging complacent since maiksi lang itong conference na ito,” he said.
The Gin Kings take two days off before resuming practice on Tuesday as they prepare for their next game on Friday against Barako Bull Energy Cola.