LA Tenorio downplays latest heroics, insists Ginebra's defense spelled difference in win over Star
LA Tenorio held his own against Mark Barroca in their key match-up at the backcourt during the Ginebra-Star game Sunday. Photo courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

LA Tenorio played down his latest heroics for Barangay Ginebra, insisting it’s the Kings’ defense as a unit that spelled the biggest difference in the team’s 92-87 win over Star on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The Gin Kings star playmaker hit the go-ahead jumper with 32 seconds left that lifted the league’s most popular team to its second straight win after starting the conference with two losses.

“Siguro more than the shot, I think yung character nung team namin defensively (was the key),” Tenorio said. “I think ito yung mga klaseng games na kailangan namin ipanalo dahil ito yung magbui-build ng character namin going to the playoffs and being a great team.”

The Gin Kings allowed the Hotshots to make 45 percent of their shots, but Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar conspired in limiting Star import Denzel Bowles to just 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting in 39 minutes.

“The willingness to play defense, especially yung big guys namin, nandun,” Tenorio said. “It’s a big lift sa amin kasi kakatakutan kami whenever may magda-drive. Yung ang big difference ngayon, especially sa game na ‘to.”

Tenorio insisted his marginal basket was just an opportunity he took after deferring to his other offensively potent teammates this conference.

“Alam naman natin na lahat kami dito sa team namin scorer or wants to shoot every time, especially sa starting five,” the former Best Player of the Conference said. “Siguro someone has to make the sacrifice to take (fewer) shots. And as long as we’re winning and doing the right thing, hindi ko na rin iniisip yung opensa ko.

“Of course, I have to be a threat also,” he was quick to add. “Pag may opportunity katulad kanina, I’ll take it. Pero most of the time, my contribution is really to orchestrate the offense and play defense.”

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