IT’S just Game One of the PBA Governors Cup finals, but Ginebra should start pushing the right buttons if it is to avoid getting the upset axe from Meralco.
A frustrated LA Tenorio is a bit alarmed the Kings let a 16-point third-quarter lead slip away from their grasp and allowed the Bolts to comeback and steal the opener of their best-of-seven title series in overtime, 114-109, on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tenorio admitted the Kings kind of relaxed after erecting a 58-42 edge by dropping their defense against a resilient Bolts side that showed admirable maturity while playing in their first ever league finals.
“Hindi dapat ganun. Kailangan next game we have to tightened up on defense, sabi nga namin, they’re (Bolts) here for a reason, tinalo nga nila yung No. 1 team,” Tenorio noted of Meralco, which stunned top seed TNT Katropa in the best-of-five semifinals.
“It’s a wake-up call for us.”
The loss by the Kings before some 14,522 weekend crowd at the Big Dome spoiled Tenorio’s career best of 36 points, which he highlighted by going 14 of 24 from the field, while adding four rebounds and three assists.
It was the veteran point guard out of Ateneo which sent the game into extra period after scoring on a bank shot in the final 2.1 seconds of regulation that tied the score at 102-all.
Then everything fell apart in overtime.
“This game, they outhustled us. Mas gusto nilang manalo,” said Tenorio. “Siyempre, gutom din ang mga yan.”
Coach Tim Cone refused to grant interviews as he usually does during a sorry loss.
“He’s disappointed and frustrated sa outcome, not necessarily sa offense namin but on our defense. And giving up 114 points against Meralco, that’s too much,” said Tenorio, “Yun lang naman ang hinihiling niya sa amin, to play defense especially down the stretch, kailangan we really need to get stops, to get the rebounds, and the loose balls.”
Game Two is set Sunday, where Tenorio expects the Kings to make an adjustment.
“It’s a long series, a game of adjustments,” he stressed. “It just really boils down to defense. We have to go back to basics and dun sa ginagawa naming tama.”