LA Tenorio made sure that trusting his instincts was worth it this time as he proved key in the game-winning play of Ginebra’s 97-96 decision over San Miguel Beer on Friday night in their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series.
The Gin Kings star point grabbed the offensive rebound off a Scottie Thompson miss that gave Ginebra another extra possession in a wild final offensive, setting the stage for the heroics of Japeth Aguilar.
Tenorio said it was reminiscent of their double-overtime loss to San Miguel in the elimination round where he decided to take matters into his own hands and not call a timeout. It resulted in a missed shot from halfcourt – a scenario that has happened a handful of times already.
But as he saw coach Tim Cone letting them sort things out themslves, Tenorio made the right decision this time.
“Unang-una, tiningnan ko yung peripheral ko at nakita ko si coach Tim na hindi tumatawag ng timeout eh, so baka mangyari na naman yung nangyari last time,” Tenorio admitted. “Then I looked at the clock, nakita ko na may (five) seconds pa so pinull-out ko muna at yun, na-organize namin.”
All five Gin Kings players on the court touched the ball in that last possession, before Sol Mercado dished out to Aguilar for the wide-open baseline jumper, putting the spotlight on team play that resulted in a league-season-high 36 assists.
“The good thing about the last shot is, yes, we give credit to Japeth on that, pero I want to give credit also to my teammates,” Tenorio said. That’s the most important thing. We pride ourselves in moving the ball well.”
But the veteran point guard believes they need to perform even better to finish off the Beermen in Game Four on Sunday.
“Yung game na nilaro namin ngayon, I don’t think that’s enough to win and close out the series against a powerhouse San Miguel,” Tenorio said.
“Baka kailangan mag-forty assists kami,” he added with a smile.