EVEN with Barangay Ginebra lording it over the PBA Philippine Cup standings, guard LA Tenorio warned the Gin Kings will have to raise their level of play in the last four games of the eliminations if they hope to dominate come playoff time.
The heady starting guard said the league leaders can't rely on "lucky shots" to win games in the playoffs, just like they did two days ago when Japeth Aguilar and Jay-R Reyes hit successive three-pointers in the final 12 seconds of great 83-82 escape against Meralco.
“Sinabi ko nga na come playoff time, di puwede yung ganitong game na (winning by) lucky shot kasi sa playoffs, di na eh, big man’s game na yun," said Tenorio. "From the start, dapat aggressive na lahat.”
That Meralco game, according to Tenorio, exposed the weaknesses of Ginebra, primarily its one-on-one defense and its tendency to be "manhandled" by physical teams like the Bolts.
“Yung one on one defense namin saka offensive rebounds. Oo, malalaki kami pero tinatalo kami sa rebounds. Binu-bully kami ng Meralco. They play physical against us,” the former Ateneo star said.
Japeth Aguilar and frontline partner Greg Slaughter, this year’s top rookie pick, are the team’s leading scorers and rebounders this season.
The slam-dunking Aguilar is averaging 19.8 points and 9,5 rebounds while leading the league as well in shot blocks with 3.8 swats per contest. On the other hand, the 6-11 Slaughter is averaging 15.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.
“Kailangan ma-counter namin yun, eh parang sila (Bolts) ang malalaki. Talagang minamama kami. Come playoff time, ganun lahat ng teams, di lang Meralco, so we have to be ready for that,” he said.
Ginebra returns to action on January 5 against skidding San Mig Super Coffee squad at the Mall of Asia Arena.