LA Tenorio admitted his confidence hit a low point after letting Barangay Ginebra down with his poor performance, including two crucial missed shots late in Game Five of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals against San Mig Coffee.
But thanks to the power of prayer, the help of his teammates, and the flood of support he received from the legion of Ginebra fans, Tenorio was able to bounce back Monday night as he helped propel the Kings to a pulse-pounding 94-91 win that sent the best-of-seven series to a do-or-die encounter.
“Ano lang talaga, nagdasal lang talaga ako. Iyung before the game, I passed by the church, yun lang ang naging lakas ng loob ko to get back in the game,” shared Tenorio after the come-from-behind win.
The former Ateneo star playmaker said he didn’t think about trying to redeem himself and bouncing back with a super offensive performance in Game Six.
Instead, he just thought about being a team player and facilitator when needed.
“I didn’t think for myself na babawi ako. Ang iniisip ko lang yung team na manalo ngayon,” he said. “I think 'yun ang key sa turnaround.”
Tenorio said the mistakes he committed in the final 13 seconds of Game Five that cost Ginebra the win humbled him so much that he personally asked his teammates to encourage him by getting the win on Monday.
“I asked the players na tulungan din ako. Manalo lang kami, malaking tulong na sa akin, that’s why I want to thank my teammates for lifting my morale,” he added.
He also took time to thank diehard Ginebra fan Erson Villangca, a senior student at Ateneo who wrote an open letter addressed to him shortly after the Kings’ 76-79 heartbreaker in Game Five.
“Kailangang-kailangan ko talaga ng mga ganun (letter of encouragement) in times ng ganitong sitwasyon. Iyung mga taong ganito ang nagpapalakas ng lob sa bawat players. Hindi lang sa Ginebra kundi para sa PBA,” said Tenorio.