BARANGAY Ginebra star guard LA Tenorio is not giving up on embattled import Leon Rodgers, who has come under fire for his shooting slump in the Gin Kings’ first two outings in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Calls for the 33-year-old journerman sacking have grown after a rough start to the Gin Kings' campaign which saw them escape with an overtime win over Barako Bull before getting blown off the court by sister team San Miguel Beer, 96-112, on Sunday.
The highly regarded Rodgers has copped most of the flak after going as a horrendous 2-of-17 from beyond the three-point arc in those two games.
A three-time MVP in the Dutch league who averaged more than 29 points with the Jilin Northeast Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association this year on 54 percent shooting, Rodgers is averaging 32 points a game for Ginebra but has made just 19 of 50 shots so far.
Still, Tenorio said he expects Rodgers to be a different man once he gets into rhythm, hopefully starting on Sunday in Ginebra's grudge match against newly crowned Philippine Cup champion San Mig.
“Medyo nangangapa pa siya (Rodgers) kasi he’s the type of player who needs to get his rhythm,” Tenorio told Spin.ph after the team’s practice on Friday.
“But the nice thing about Leon, maganda na pinapakita niya sa practice at scrimmage. Saka he’s a player na kapag nakuha na niya yung rhythm niya, he’ll be hard to stop,” he added.
The 29-year-old 'Gineral' is confident it will only be a matter of time before the veteran American forward gets comfortable playing under the new system installed by Ginebra coaches Ato Agustin and Juno Sauler, who has taken a more active role on the bench.
Despite the import's shooting woes, Tenorio said Rodgers remains an integral piece for Ginebra because of his leadership qualities.
“Actually, maboka siya na leader. Constant ang communication naming kaya katabi ko lagi siya sa bench. Saka alam niya bumasa ng sitwasyon,” said the Gilas mainstay.