SAN Miguel's retooling spree in the offseason may just have made the upcoming 2019 PBA Philippine Cup nothing but a race for second place for the other 11 teams in the league.
"Di ko nga alam, baka runner-up na lang paglabanan namin," joked LA Tenorio as he took exception of the four-time reigning all-Filipino champions adding Terrence Romeo, Paul Zamar, and Ronald Tubid to their squad, as well as hiring former Gilas captain Jimmy Alapag to their coaching staff.
The Ginebra guard shared the same opinion that the Beermen are still the undisputed team to beat this year, with the recent acquisitions making the powerhouse team all the more formidable.
"Until now, sila pa rin yung defending champion eh. So I think the team to beat talaga is San Miguel, plus the addition of Terrence pa and the addition of Jimmy," he said.
"I know Jimmy. Kahit saan siya magpunta nagcha-champion yung team niya eh, may it be coaching staff or player man siya. Meron siyang ganoong positive energy na dinadala, so I think it’s a great addition for them. Of course, alam mo madadala ni Terrence, di ba?"
As tough of a task as it is to beat a squad as loaded as San Miguel, Tenorio believes that Ginebra has what it takes to give its sister team a run for its money.
"Sila yung barometer eh. Although we beat them in the Commissioner’s Cup, I think in the all-Filipino, it’s still San Miguel. But we’re gonna prepare, not only against San Miguel, but also yung ibang teams na lumakas," he said.
"Lahat naman ng teams, lumakas eh. So I think we really have to prepare and at least, mapantayan namin yung energy nila right from the start of the conference."
But for the Gin Kings to do that, the veteran guard only pointed out to one factor -- discipline.
"I think discipline. Like this last conference, nagkulang kami sa discipline. Hopefully, this coming conference, maibalik namin yung discipline na yun. I’m talking about defensively. Offensively, we’re there, we’re scoring."
"But I think defensively, we really have to get back doon sa basic at tsaka kung alam talaga namin kung ano talaga yung identity ng team namin, which is a defensive team," he added.