ROBERT Jaworski Sr. lent a little hand in Barangay Ginebra’s latest PBA title conquest.
The man who set off the team’s never-say-die spirit made his presence felt over the sidelines of the Philippine Arena when he personally gave some of the Ginebra players a pep talk during the crucial stretch of Game 7 of the PBA Governors Cup finals Friday night against Meralco.
Jaworski was seen going behind the Kings’ bench several times to relay something to the players, some of which he conveyed to long-time leader Mark Caguioa.
One of them was meant for LA Tenorio.
“Actually pinabulong nuya lang kay Mark kasi nga hindi ako nilalabas,” said Tenorio. “Pinabulong niya lang kung ano yung gusto niyang sabihin.”
Asked what was it all about, Tenorio said it was all about him taking charge for the league’s crowd darling.
“Sabi niya I have to get the ball daw at the end of the game,” recalled Tenorio, who had the hot hands for the Kings – along with import Justine Brownlee – for the entire finale of the season.
“I should have the ball daw and secure kung ano yung dapat naming gawin.”
That’s what ‘Tinyente’ exactly did.
Tenorio sank a couple of free throws in the final minutes of the thrilling match at the Philippine Arena, including a split in the final 22 seconds for the clincher in Ginebra’s 101-96 win and retain the season-ending championship.
The veteran guard, later named as the PBA Press Corps-Cignal finals MVP, finished with 26 points and four assists, including 5 of 8 from three-point range.
Certainly, the Big J, now 71, hasn’t lost yet his instinct in coaching.