IF the crowd and electric atmosphere inside the Filoil Flying V Arena are any indication of the excitement at the Ginebra San Miguel camp over the arrival of LA Tenorio, then expect a big party for the ‘barangay’ this coming season.
Even though it was no more than a preseason game, hundreds of Ginebra fans trooped to the San Juan Arena to see Tenorio play for the first time with the league’s most popular team, cheering enthusiastically for every basket and assist made by the Jones Cup hero.
Tenorio didn’t disappoint.
With the game having the atmosphere and energy of a playoff game, the former Alaska star wowed the crowd with his speed, fantastic shooting and pinpoint passing as scored 14 points to lead the Gin Kings to a 98-83 win over a disoriented Rain or Shine.
Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen was delighted at the result and happier that it didn’t take his prized recruit a long time to fit into his system.
"It's really nice to have LA in the team. That's the advantage of having a great player because he found ways to adjust to the team very well," Tanquingcen told Spin.ph.
“I hope we could sustain the good start we had going into the conference.”
Nevertheless, Tanquingcen later reminded his team not to put too much pressure on Tenorio.
"Even though we now have LA, he still needs help. We can't rely on him only. Everybody must always be on the same page so we could accomplish what we are aiming for this coming season," added the Gin King coach.
If Tenorio had a seamless transition to Ginebra, the same cannot be said of Fil-Am rookies Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen, who struggled offensively in the face of the typically physical game employed by Rain or Shine.
Ellis, the sixth overall pick in the rookie draft, finished with just two points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field while the 6-4 Jensen went 2-of-5 for four points.
"Our Fil-Am rookies struggled a bit but I think they provided the energy for much in the game. That's fresh young blood infused into our team" noted Tanquingcen.