LA Tenorio is back in the PBA Finals and couldn’t be any happier chasing yet another championship with the man who exactly knows how to bring out the best in him.
Reunited with coach Tim Cone, the veteran point guard gets another shot at winning a title as Barangay Ginebra battles Meralco in the Governors Cup best-of-seven title series that gets underway on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In more than a decade of playing and several finals appearances, Tenorio, 32, has only won a championship once with Alaska when Cone was still the one at the helm during the 2010 Fiesta Conference. He ended up being named Finals co-MVP with Cyrus Baguio by the PBA Press Corps.
Hopefully, he said his partnership with Cone will bring the same result with the Kings this time.
“Nagkasama uli kami, so hopefully, we’ll win another championship, why not,” said the playmaker out of Ateneo. “I’m happy and excited to win a championship again with coach Tim.”
Cone referred to himself as Tenorio’s ‘comfort zone.’
“He takes it very well when I get mad at him, probably better than any player that I ever had,” said the 58-year-old mentor after the pre-finals press conference of the Governors Cup Thursday at the PBA Café.
“He understands that my expectations for him are really high. He’s really got a comfort zone in me. And it’s something that I think he lacked the past couple of years.”
It’s no wonder, Tenorio has a very good season playing under Cone anew with the Kings.
In the season-ending conference alone, Tenorio leads all Ginebra locals in scoring with a 15.2 average, tied for first place with Sol Mercado in assists with 4.6 per game, ranks No. 1 in steals with 1.5 per outing, while averaging 34 minutes of play, also a team-best.
“I think I’m just an old blanket (to him),” said Cone, likening himself to Linus van Pelt, the best friend of Charlie Brown in the comic strip Peanuts, known for always toting his blue security blanket.
“He knows me well enough, he knows that no matter what happens, I’m gonna have his back. I may jump on him, but he know it’s not gonna be personal.”