LA Tenorio sparked Barangay Ginebra’s second half breakaway with his red-hot shooting and brilliant playmaking to power the Kings to a smashing 98-70 victory over Barako Bull in the main game of the PBA Governors Cup on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Tenorio fired a personal conference-high 22 points, had five assists and three rebounds to anchor the Kings’ murderous 22-0 bomb bridging the third and fourth quarter that turned a slim seven-point lead to an 80-51 bubble.
The huge run took the fight out of the Energy, who tumbled to a 1-5 record under new coach Siot Tanquingcen after opening the conference with a 95-94 victory over Meralco.
Prior to the game, Tenorio averaged career-lows of 5.7 points on a frigid 28.6 shooting from the field as he found a way to explode against Barako Bull’s rookie backcourt duo of Jeric Fortuna and Carlo Lastimosa.
It was a huge bounce-back victory for the Kings who suffered a 102-90 defeat at the hands of three-time champion San Mig Super Coffee Mixers.
The loss was Ginebra’s first loss under new coach Jeffrey Cariaso in his highly-anticipated face-off with former long-time mentor Tim Cone.
“I think the best thing about this (win) is we’re able to bounce back from our last game,” Cariaso said after the game.
“Tonight, we showed character. Even if the improvement was just a little bit, it’s still an improvement,” he added.
Cariaso also defended Tenorio’s slow start this conference.
“You have to remember, during the first three games, he (Tenorio) was defending, guarding Gary David, and against GlobalPort, we put him at the two guard also. So even if his numbers weren’t there, he was playing well for me,” explained the rookie Ginebra coach.
Ginebra’s defense held Barako Bull to just 27.1 percent shooting from the field in the game, even as the Gin Kings dominated the boards, 67-45.
Zach Mason had 16 points and 14 rebound for the Gin KIngs, while Greg Slaughter chipped in 11 points and 11 boards.
Eric Wise led the Energy with 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Ginebra 98 - Tenorio 22, Mason 16, Slaughter 11, Aguilar 10, Ellis 9, Helterbrand 9, Baracael 6, Reyes 5, Ababou 3, Mamaril 3, Knuttel 2, Faundo 2, Monfort 0, Urbiztondo 0, Caguioa 0.
Barako Bull 70 - Wise 16, Pennisi 10, Thiele 8, Najorda 7, Jensen 6, Fortuna 5, Buenafe 5, Lastimosa 3, Miller 3, Miranda 3, Marcelo 2, Intal 2, Deutchman 0.
Quarterscores: 14-18, 33-33, 68-51, 98-70