LA Tenorio plays role to the hilt as Ginebra's calming voice amidst Game Three tension
LA Tenorio steadied the ship for Ginebra after a heated first half, capped by a halftime commotion between Alfrancis Chua and Nash Racela. Jerome Ascano

LA Tenorio again proved to be the glue that sticks Barangay Ginebra together.

‘El Kapitan’ was the calm voice in the Kings’ locker room as emotions ran high during Game Three of the PBA Governors Cup semifinals series between the defending champions and TnT Katropa Friday night.

The match was so tense inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum as TNT coach Nash Racela and Ginebra board of governor Alfrancis Chua figured in a nasty, heated exchange of words in the hallway of the venue just as both teams were heading to the dugout at the half.

Tenorio was quick to remind the Kings to keep their emotions in check especially with the game – and the series - still on the balance.

“I kept on reminding the players especially during halftime, that we’re not going to back down but we have to be smart,” said the veteran point guard, who came up with 16 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists in the 106-103 win that gave the Kings a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Tenorio singled out rookie Kevin Ferrer, whom he told to keep his mind on the game and not be distracted by the physicality of the game.

Ferrer, playing with a mask in his first game in two weeks after suffering a slight fracture on his cheek, had some verbal confrontations with TnT import Glen Rice Jr late in the second period, an incident that boiled all the way to the hallway shouting match between Racela and Chua.

“He’s just doing his job as a player, he wants to win,” said Tenorio of Ferrer. “He’s not playing dirty, but he’s doing his job. “

Tenorio also told the Kings not to be affected by the officiating, something which obviously got into the head of the Katropa.

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“Officiating is beyond our control every game,” he said. “Parehong team gustong manalo kaya anytime nagkakaroon ng mga hindi inaasahan. But that’s part of the game especially in the playoffs.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos