The 38-year-old Gin Kings veteran playmaker started to reignite his vintage form while gunning for a personal milestone in the team’s 115-96 win over Converge that capped their elimination round campaign on a high.
Coming in averaging just 3.9 points on 32-percent shooting, 2.6 assists, and 2.1 boards in just 20.2 minutes in the 11 games, Tenorio put up 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, four assists, and three rebounds in 31 minutes as a starter to spark the Gin Kings’ late breakaway against the FiberXers.
“We’ve been trying to pretty much conserve LA through the whole conference,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said after the game. “He’s a big-time playoff player and we’ve been trying to preserve his minutes, trying to keep him down to under 25 minutes a game.”
“And we’ve been able to do that because of the depth that we have on our team. But we know come playoff time, he’s gonna step up his game,” he added.
Tenorio picked the perfect time to play like his old, familiar self, firing 10 points in the final frame where the Gin Kings pulled away.
LA Tenorio nears No. 4 in all-time three-point list
Hitting all of his two treys in the period also extended the 16-year veteran’s career three-point total to 1,170 to nudge him to just one shy of matching Ronnie Magsanoc for fourth in the all-time list shared by chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
Tenorio is also just eight three-pointers away from tying the idle James Yap (1,178) and joining the Top 3 that features Jimmy Alapag (1,250) and Allan Caidic (1,242).
“This is the right time for him to start stepping up and starting to play more minutes, right here in this game before the playoffs,” Cone said.
“We rely so much on his leadership and we rely so much on his execution. He just understands the offense better than anybody else, so when he’s out there, we’re executing better than when he’s not.”