LA Tenorio says poor defense - not injuries - the cause of Ginebra slide
LA Tenorio rues the fact that Ginebra's defense is giving up 93.6 points a game while it averages just slightly over 80 points. Jerome Ascano

THE spate of injuries to Ginebra's key players is not an excuse for its mounting woes in the PBA Philippine Cup.

LA Tenorio drove home this point after the Kings fell to their third straight loss, 87-82, at the hands of the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Kings were still without hurting big man Greg Slaughter and Joe Devance although Tenorio doesn’t want to cite it as the reason for the team’s current slump.

“It’s not an excuse dahil kulang kami because of injuries,” said Tenorio afterwards.

“Natalo na rin kami nung andun si Greg,” he stressed, referring to Ginebra’s 94-77 loss to Blackwater two weeks ago. “Full-team kami nun.”

Tenorio pointed out the Kings have not been playing defense the way they used to, noting the team has been giving up 93.6 points against the opposition in those three losses.

“We gave up a lot of easy points dun sa mga talo namin. So I think defense is really the problem,” said Tenorio.

In contrast, Ginebra averages just 80.6 points.

“It’s really finding ways to win, everyone has to step up every game,” he added.

Tenorio finished with 10 points and five assists, but didn’t snare a single rebound and just went 3-of-11 from the field.

The struggle from the field prompted coach Tim Cone to relieve the veteran point guard for good early in the fourth period and watched the game from the bench as the Kings made a last-ditch rally in the endgame.

Tenorio simply shrugged off his benching.

“Diskarte naman niya yun. Hindi ko naman puwedeng sirain yun,” he said. “Kung hindi niya ako gamitin, e di hindi niya ako gamitin.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos