AS Barangay Ginebra braces for a coaching change that will mark the return of Ato Agustin in lieu of Jeffrey Cariaso when the team resumes practice on Monday, playmaker LA Tenorio is keeping his fingers crossed as far as his spot in the team is concerned.
Over the holiday break, rumors have linked Tenorio’s name to a number of trades, from a supposed swap for last year’s top rookie pick Stanley Pringle of GlobalPort to a one-on-one deal for Talk 'N Text freshman Kevin Alas.
The Ginebra star said he, too, is clueless on where all the rumors started and has no answer to fans who have been asking him the same question.
“Dami ngang rumors, pati ako sinasama, eh siyempre, yung mga (Ginebra) fans nagkakagulo din. Marami nga ding tumatawag sa akin, nagtatanong kung totoo nga daw,” Tenorio, who is fresh from a vacation with his family in Cebu, told Spin.ph.
While no trade talk has been confirmed, some fans believe it is the dip in Tenorio's numbers as well as internal wrangling that may force Ginebra to give up its top guard.
Tenorio’s stats in the Philippine Cup - 7.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals, and 34.9 percent from the field - are his lowest since arriving at Ginebra’s camp before the start of the 2012-13 season.
The 30-year-old guard out of Ateneo averaged 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.4 steals during the 2013 season, which also saw Ginebra finish second in the Commissioner’s Cup after bowing to Alaska, 3-0 in the Finals.
Tenorio bagged his first Best Player award that same season.
However, the former Ateneo star attributed the downturn to fatigue, having played basketball non-stop over the past three years while switching from his duties with Ginebra and the Gilas Pilipinas national program.
The break following Ginebra's ouster from the Philippine Cup was his longest over that span, he said.
“Actually, parang first time ko mag-rest in almost three years kasi maximum rest ko dati is seven days lang, dahil simula nung mag-Gilas ako, since 2012, nag-Seaba then Jones Cup na kami,” he said.
No matter what happens, Tenorio could only hope Ginebra will come out stronger and wiser as the team begins its preparation for the Commissioner’s Cup.
“Lahat naman ayaw ng natatalo, gusto manalo, but we have to remind the players na we have to just go back stronger sa next conference,” he said.