LA Tenorio wondering if Ginebra will also don retro jerseys from Marlou-David days
LA Tenorio says the 1991 throwback jerseys serve as a reminder to Ginebra players to play with all heart in every game, every possession. Jerome Ascano

ANTIPOLO CITY – LA Tenorio said he was ready to don short shorts when Barangay Ginebra was informed it will be wearing a retro jersey of its 1991 champion team during its PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against Meralco Sunday night.

“Ready ako e. Akala ko nga yun ang mangyayari, yung maikli rin,” said Tenorio laughing when asked why the Kings’ weren’t wearing the matching shorts when they honored former playing-coach Robert Jaworski and Co. by donning the throwback jerseys of the team that completed a miracle against Shell 26 years ago during the First Conference Finals.

Turning serious, Tenorio said reliving that previous piece of franchise history only inspired the Kings more as they eked out a 90-89 win against the Bolts to close in on a Top 2 finish going to the playoffs of the mid-season tournament.

“Habang suot kasi namin yun, na-inspire kami to be the never-say-die team,” he said. “Kasi ganun yung team na nag-suot niyan.”

“Hopefully, maging suwerte sa amin yun.”

[See Modern-day Ginebra players take pride in wearing jerseys of iconic 1991 team]

Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who was still at the other side of the fence when Jaworski and his boys were building their iconic image to what it is today, appreciated the sense of history shown by the franchise by honoring the team’s timeless red-and-white uniform.

“For me it’s important for the fans to remember the history of the league and remember those that came before us,” he said. “By wearing an older jersey or retro jersey, the young kids will ask what’s that all about.

“So it’s always great when we recognize the people before us.”

Tenorio isn’t sure if the Kings will also wear the retro red jersey of the Ginebra team that won its last championship under the Jaworski era, when Bal David, Marlou Aquino, Noli Locsin, Vince Hizon, Jayvee Gayoso, Pido Jarencio, Wilmer Ong, among others, were still in their prime.

But whether they get to wear red or white Ginebra jersey, Tenorio said the old jerseys only remind him of one thing.

“Kung suot man namin yun, that should remind us to really play hard,” he stressed. “Never-say-die talaga, not only every game but every possession.” 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos