Misfiring LA Tenorio makes up with tough defensive stand for Ginebra in endgame
LA Tenorio fouled hard by Maverick Ahanmisi in the endgame. Dante Peralta

LA Tenorio made up for an offensive off night by contributing to a collective, impenetrable defensive effort the spelled a huge difference for Ginebra in its 81-74 victory over Rain or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night.

Coming off a 27-point performance in the loss to TNT KaTropa, the Gin Kigns star point guard was held to four points after missing all his six shots in 33 minutes.

But that didn’t stop him from making a difference, producing six assists, four boards, one steal and a solid defensive stand against E-Painters playmakers Maverick Ahanmisi in one crucial possession in the final minute.

“Offensively, you can say I really struggled, ramdam ko naman yun, and I take the blame on that,” Tenorio admitted. “The thing na ginawa ko na lang is to play defense especially down the stretch."

"I was out of focus during the game, but sa depensa, hindi ka naman mawala sa focus dapat, so yun na lang ginawa ko just to help the team,” he added.

[See Yap unbothered after late-game benching]

While they had a woeful outside shooting night themselves, missing all their 14 three-point attempts, the Gin Kings forced the E-Painters to have the worst shooting night this season, holding them to a paltry 26-percent from the field after making just 26 out of their 100 shots, including 6-of-41 from beyond the arc.

The E-Painters also went 0-for-12 from the field in the game's final four minutes.

“I’d rather take this game than the last game – scoring a lot of points pero hindi naman kami nanalo,” Tenorio said. “Ganun ang nagiging problema, last year pa na every time I score a lot, natatalo.”

“I’d rather take this kind of win and grinding out wins,” he added. “Kahit pangit na panalo, as long as we did our best especially on the defensive end … we limited them below eighty.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos