LA Tenorio insisted he was merely carried away by his emotions when he made a “nganga” gesture late in Ginebra’s 108-97 win over Alaska in the deciding game of their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday night.
The mild-mannered veteran playmaker surprisingly taunted Alaska with a gesture identified with Aces star forward Calvin Abueva after beating the shotclock with a three-pointer that served as the highlight of his career night.
“Actually mali nga eh,” Tenorio admitted after the game. “Personally, it’s not my thing, but it’s the heat of the moment. Syempre, excited ka. Sino ba naman hindi magiging excited, ‘di ba? Twice to beat (yung kalaban) and against Alaska pa.”
“Pero hindi naman ako ganun, nadala lang ako,” he added.
Tenorio certainly had reason to celebrate as the Gin Kings managed to overcome the twice-to-beat Aces with him leading the way for a shorthanded team. He finished with 31 points, all but two in the last three quarters, on top of three assists, two boards, and one steal in 41 minutes.
Although he didn't say to whom the taunt was directed to, Tenorio had a couple of close brushes with Abueva, including one moment in the endgame when 'The Beast' came within inches of hitting the Ginebra guard with a knee during a loose ball scramble.
Tenorio, however, said his only motivation during the game was to go out and be aggressive after a flat start.
“Going into this game, I didn’t have any expectations. My expectation lang was to go out and play aggressive especially kulang-kulang kami,” Tenorio insisted. “I came out flat again, pero I really had to me more aggressive para mahawa rin yung team namin, defensively and offensively.”