LA Tenorio and Chris Tiu go a long way back that not even their on-court skirmish in the do-or-die PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal encounter between Ginebra and Rain or Shine could affect their friendship.
Tenorio bared to Spin.ph the two of them exchanged messages of apology shortly after the Kings’ 81-79 win over the Elasto Painters for the right to meet Talk `N Text in the semifinals.
“Nag-send din siya (Tiu) ng message sa akin at nag-so-sorry siya. Ako din naman nag-sorry sa kanya kasi natamaan ko siya sa nguso nung game,” recalled Tenorio.
The 5-foot-8 Tenorio banged, scraped, and clawed his way against the taller Tiu, who tried to pounce on the mismatch by trying to post up the Ginebra guard at the offensive end.
The Jones Cup MVP hit the floor a couple of times - sometimes because of Tiu's aggressive banging, other times because he dived in a bid to fish for a foul.
At the end of the game, the skirmishes were all water under the bridge for the two warriors.
“Nag-abot naman kami sa Ateneo. Yung parents namin magkaibigan,” he said of Tiu, a teammate at Ateneo during the 2003 UAAP season when the Blue Eagles finished runner-up to Arwind Santos and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
That his fellow Blue Eagle played him aggressively in the playoffs didn’t come as a surprise for the Ginebra starting guard.
“Di naman ako na-surprised,” Tenorio told Spin.ph. “Pero di lang naman si Chris, pati si Paul (Lee) saka Gabe (Norwood) aggressive. Siyempre, expected na `yung ganung physical game kasi do-or-die eh.
"Saka ganun `yung type ng laro na gusto ni coach Yeng (Guiao). Susunud lang naman siya,” he added.
In the long term, the 28-year-old Tenorio said the two highly physical games the Kings played against the Elasto Painters prepared them for the tough grind ahead against the Tropang Texters in their best-of-five semis series that starts Friday.