COMING up with consistent numbers throughout the PBA Governors Cup, Barangay Ginebra sentinel LA Tenorio appears on course for a second straight Best Player of the Conference award after finishing on top of the BPC derby at the close of the single-round eliminations.
The former Ateneo superstar guard, a Gilas Pilipinas mainstay, came out on top of the BPC race with his 33.3 statistical points, 2.2 points more than Petron Blaze forward Arwind Santos, his closest pursuer and the top contender for the season MVP race (31.1).
Tenorio has been nothing but sensational this conference, despite the fact that he has yet to take a break after coming off his Fiba-Asia men’s championship stint with Gilas Pilipinas.
He showed no signs of slowing down as evidenced in his conference stats of 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and a league-best 9.8 assists.
He scored 24 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals in leading Ginebra to the playoffs via their 110-102 victory over Talk ‘N Text in their rubber match for the No. 8 seeding on Tuesday night.
Tenorio’s BPC bid though will be put to serious test on Thursday as the Gin Kings open the quarterfinal against the top-seeded Petron Blaze Boosters.
Ginebra may need to go deep in the playoffs if Tenorio hopes to gather enough votes to win a second successive Best Player trophy.
The Gin Kings need to beat the Boosters twice to move up to the semifinal round - a feat they did last summer when as a seventh seed, Ginebra defeated the then No. 2 ranked Rain or Shine twice to advance to the next round.
Meantime, currently in third spot in the BPC ranking at the end of the elims is Globalport Fil-Am forward Jay Washington with 29.4 SPs, followed by Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa (28.8) and Petron guard Alex Cabagnot (28.2).
Rookies Cliff Hodge of Meralco (28.1) and Petron center June Mar Fajardo (27.9) are in sixth and seventh spots, respectively.
Completing the top 10 are Air21 forward KG Canaleta, the conference’s top local scorer, with 27.0 SPs, Meralco veteran big man Reynel Hugnatan (26.9), and Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee (26.6).