LA Tenorio beginning to regain his touch, hopes rest of Kings would find their rhythm
LA Tenorio has started to make his shots after a slow start to the conference, but stresses scoring isn't his priority. Jerome Ascano

THE old LA Tenorio is back for the new Barangay Ginebra squad.

But while hoping to sustain his personal resurgence, the Kings star point guard stressed that team growth under new coach Frankie Lim is more important for their continued success in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

A facilitator in the early goings of the season-ending conference, Tenorio has become more aggressive offensively as of late.

After tallying just 7.7 points, three rebounds, 3.3 assists, and one steal, against 2.5 turnovers in 26 minutes in his first three games, the 30-year-old playmaker has averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, two steals, and one turnover in 32 minutes in his last two games.

“Siguro I’m starting to get the rhythm,” Tenorio told after practice on Saturday. “Hopefully maging consistent lang, yun naman yung parati kong challenge sa sarili ko.”

The former Best Player of the Conference produced 17 points, including four triples, two boards, one assist, and one steal in 30 minutes, but the solid performance was overshadowed as the Kings suffered a shock loss to Blackwater in Dipolog.

But Tenorio kept his hot streak, burying another four triples on the way to firing 20 points on top of 11 boards, four assists, and three steals in 34 minutes off the bench, a splendid showing that paid dividends as Ginebra pounced on a tired Rain or Shine side, 93-81, in Dubai last week.

“But for me, it’s not about me scoring all the points,” the nine-year league veteran stressed. "My thing is, basta every time nasa court ako, mafe-feel ng buong team yung presence ko.”

“It just happened like sa Rain or Shine game, walang maka-shoot eh, kasi parang ang bibigat (ng pakiramdam), so nagkaroon ako ng opportunity to (take matters into my own hands),” he continued. “Yun naman yung ginagawa ko sa team, actually ever since naman. Pag wala na talagang option, then it’s time to take charge din sometimes.”

Whether he scores or makes a pass, what’s more important for Tenorio is the Kings, who have won two of their last three games to be in the middle of the pack, end up with a victory.

“The challenge is to be consistent every game not only in scoring, but distributing the ball to the right person, the right spot,” Tenorio said as he welcomes the return of fit-again Greg Slaughter, who bolsters a star-studded core led by Mark Caguioa, Japeth Aguilar, and import Orlando Johnson.

“It doesn’t matter if I don’t score in a game, basta na-distribute ko kay Orlando, kay Mark, kay Greg, kay Japeth.”


“Imagine yung apat na kasabay ko sa loob ng court can easily score twenty points per game each, so kung tatlo man ‘dun, maka-twenty tapos kami ni Mark, zero, pero we win the game, it doesn’t matter,” he added.

Still, expect him to take charge when counted upon as the Kings take on sister squad San Miguel Beer on Sunday.

“The good thing about this team is kung sino talaga yung sa tingin nilang (coaching staff) parang taking charge dun sa game, talagang binibigyan kami ng opportunity,” Tenorio said.

“So lahat, lalo na ako, kailangan lang ibalik ang confidence, which unti-unti ko na nababalik, kasi medyo naga-adjust rin kami sa sistema nung una, so medyo hindi namin alam kung san kami titira. Ngayon medyo nakukuha na namin.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos