LA Tenorio stood at the forefront of a swashbuckling third-quarter run as Barangay Ginebra turned back Air21, 106-93 to get back in the race for a top four finish in the PBA Governors Cup on Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Blowing hot and cold this conference, Tenorio played aggressive basketball in the second half, pouring in 11 of his 18 points in a pivotal third-quarter run that saw the Gin Kings outscore the Express, 30-18, to take an 84-69 lead heading into the final period.
The Gin Kings did not ease up on the pedal the rest of the way, padding their lead to 96-79 on a wide-open triple by Jayjay Helterbrand on the way to snapping a two-game slide.
Tenorio flirted with a triple-double after finishing with 18 points, a personal conference-best 14 assists and seven rebounds in 36 minutes of action moved up to 2-3 in a tie with San Mig Coffee and Globalport.
San Mig scored a 102-88 win over Globalport earlier in a fight-marred match.
“Defense did it, dahil maganda ang preparation namin,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin. “Of course, weakness namin, sprinting back on defense, pero naka-recover kami after that, especially sa match-ups."
The Express tumbled to their fourth straight defeat as they continue to occupy the cellar with their woeful 1-5 record.
Ginebra 106 - Lowhorn 35, Caguioa 20, Tenorio 18, Wilson 11, Helterbrand 10, Baracael 6, Ellis 4, Mamaril 2, Ababou 0, Urbiztondo 0, Maierhofer 0.
Air 21 93 - Graham 38, Canaleta 17, Manuel 12, Sena 6, Sharma 6, Menor 4, Cortez 4, Custodio 2, Isip 2, Arboleda 2, Omolon 0.
Quarters: 29-33, 54-51, 84-69, 106-93