BEFORE reporters could even start to talk with him following Ginebra’s 91-67 win over Star that sent their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series to a deciding game, LA Tenorio joked he can't wait for the interview to end.
“Uwi na tayo,” the Gin Kings star playmaker started with a chuckle.
That Tenorio is in a rush to go home and rest is understandable after playing for 40 minutes and 28 seconds in Game Six, the most among all the players who saw action on Sunday night.
After being held to single-digit scoring in the first five games of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series, Tenorio finally delivered a fine offensive showing with 19 points on top of six boards, five assists, and two steals as the Gin Kings lived to fight another day.
But just after a day of rest, the Gin Kings return to the court to face the Hotshots on Tuesday night, aiming to clinch a finals berth for the second straight conference.
“Yun ang pinakamasarap pero mahirap laruin sa sports — Game Seven — especially sa basketball,” Tenorio said.
What makes it tougher is that the Gin Kings, as well as the Hotshots, have been stuck in a hectic grind that has seen them play every other day since the best-of-seven playoff started.
But a weary Tenorio is not complaining.
“Wala namang choice eh,” the 32-year-old point guard said. “Ang pahinga after the season na. Yun lang ang iniisip ko eh. Bubuhos ko na ngayon, tapos kung ano mang mangyari... Kung magpapahinga, magpapahinga ako. Kung hindi naman, it's up to me how will I prepare myself going into the next game para makakuha ng energy uli. ‘Di ko iniisip yung pagod eh.”
“Wala kaming karapatang magpahinga ngayon,” he added. “Magpahinga kami after the season na, kung san man kami dalhin.”
It’s just the first conference of the season, yet questions about fatigue have already been asked about the Gin Kings after going through three do-or-die games this tournament – two against Alaska and one against the Hotshots.
And the Gin Kings try to muster enough energy again as they take on the Hotshots at 7 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“It's playing in this kind of games (is our advantage),” Tenorio beamed. “Marami na kaming do-or-die na nilaruan. Hopefully madala namin yung experience, yung composure. Andyan naman crowd para tumulong samin eh. Malaking bagay din sila.”
“I’m sure they (Hotshots) will come out stronger, so we have to be ready for that. And we have to match or lampasan ang energy nila,” he added.