NO more slow start, please.
Barangay Ginebra team captain LA Tenorio hopes the team will have its game going right away against Bay Area Dragons as there will be no tomorrow for both teams in the grueling PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals.
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Looking back at the Kings’ 87-84 Game Six loss that paved the way for this winner-take-all encounter on Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, the 38-year-old Tenorio believes the team’s failure to get going early on cost them the match and allowed the Dragons to tie the series at 3-3.
He said a repeat experience could be fatal for the Kings, given how talented and how well-coached the guest team from Hong Kong is.
“Hopefully, hindi na maulit yung slow namin. Hindi namin puwedeng gawin yun against Bay Area, na bigyan sila ng early rhythm (uli),” said Tenorio.
“Nagkaroon agad sila ng rhythm to start the game especially si (Myles) Powell considering na ang tagal niyang hindi nakalaro. Yun ang kailangan naming tingnan.”
The Dragons indeed, jumped the gun on the Kings, taking the initiative and enjoying as much as an 11-point lead in the second quarter.
They trailed by as many as 11 in the second half, before finally catching up in the final quarter where the league’s most popular team even led by 66-73.
But down the stretch, there was no more gas left in the tank for the Kings and couldn’t react to a charging Bay Area side which took the lead for good, 83-82, on a driving layup by Powell with 4:50 to play.
“We played good naman kaya lang we couldn’t make baskets, yung mga open shots di namin na-shoot,” observed Tenorio.
“They made baskets, and we couldn’t make baskets.”
The Kings actually just made a single field goal in the final six minutes and went 1-of-10 from the floor.
Tenorio shrugged off the experience and said there’s no crying over spilled milk.
“Ganun talaga nangyayari yan,” he said.
A good start for Ginebra, according to Tenorio, would also get the crowd involved early.
“From the start pa lang, kailangan na namin maging aggressive. We have to constantly involve the crowd,” he said. “They did a good job of silencing the crowd, makikita natin hindi rin sila tumitigil.”
Tenorio said the three day rest in between Game Six and Sunday helped him recover from the abdominal strain he suffered in Game Five.
“May time to recover lalo na ako. I really pushed myself to play. Sana mas better (na) on Sunday,” he added.
Then again, it also gave Bay Area recovery time for its players who are also nursing injuries like Powell, Glen Yang, and Hayden Blankley.
“We have time to recover, may time din sila to recover,” noted Tenorio.
“Kaya Game Sevenis a 50-50 chance.”