LA Tenorio is having an excruciatingly slow start to the season with just 4.6 points per game, and he admits he’s still reconditioning his mind to Barangay Ginebra’s triangle offense.
It has been two weeks since the opening of the PBA’s 40th season and the 5-foot-9 guard has yet to regain his rhythm with the Kings having been immersed in Gilas Pilipinas’ dribble-drive offense the past two months playing in the Fiba World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in South Korea.
“Different role this time so I have to shift, months of training dribble-drive, different system, different tao sa team, kaya it’s hard, lalo na sa position ko, kailangan ko i-shift agad,” said Tenorio, who decided against taking a long break after the Asiad last month.
Tenorio took only a five-day break after the Asiad then rejoined Ginebra to prepare for the new season.
“After five days (from the end of the Asian Games), yung mind ko had to shift because this is triangle. It’s no longer run-and-gun, and dribble-drive,” the 30-year-old playmaker pointed out.
Now, Tenorio doesn’t have veteran NBA big man Andray Blatche to collar the rebounds or catch the ball in mid-air for an alley-oop slam dunk after his lob pass. Nor does he have Marcus Douthit who will catch his pass from mid-range and sink a 12-foot jumper.
He also doesn’t have Jimmy Alapag, his backcourt mate who could double as a deadly perimeter gunner and facilitator during the game.
“Different personnel, so now I don’t have Andray Blatche, I don’t have Marcus (Douthit), I don’t have Jimmy (Alapag), Gabe (Norwood), so different personnel eh,” he added.
Tenorio stressed the need to be patient, considering that individually-talented teammates like Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Chris Ellis and Mark Caguioa are also still learning to understand the “triangle” under rookie coach Jeffrey Cariaso.
“I really have to be patient and makuha ko kaagad (yung adjustment). But what I’m doing, I’m really distributing to the right person like kay Greg, kay Japeth, Joseph (Yeo) and Mark (Caguioa),” said the former Ateneo point guard.
[See LA Tenorio says entire Ginebra team needs full grasp of triangle offense for Kings to succeed]
“I’m no longer looking for myself now. Iyun ang sinasabi ko sa team, don’t worry about me, di ko iniisip ang sarili ko ngayon because because at any given time, I know the system at ang kailangan nila ma-feel eh kaya ko silang dalhin,” he added.
Statistically, Tenorio’s average in three games so far is his lowest in his nine-year career in the PBA. But the cat-quick Ginebra guard remains solid in other departments after averaging all-around numbers of 5.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and a career-best 2.3 steals this season.