MARK Caguioa’s loss appeared to be LA Tenorio’s gain.
Taking charge for Barangay Ginebra after his superstar teammate went down with an MCL injury, Tenorio suddenly found himself pacing the race for the Best Player of the Conference award at the end of the PBA Commissoner’s Cup eliminations.
Last year’s hero and subsequent MVP in the country’s successful title stint in the 34th Williams Jones Cup basketball tournament, the point guard out of Ateneo amassed a total of 28.6 statistical points for the No. 1 spot in the major individual award for the tournament.
The 5-foot-8 Tenorio has seen a surge on his stats following Caguioa’s unexpected exit, averaging 19.2 points - five points more than his conference average - while adding 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.8 steals in the Kings’ last five matches in the elimination round.
Caguioa would've easily topped the list but failed to play in the minimum 70 percent of the games required in the elims to be considered for the award.
Only in his first season with Ginebra, Tenorio has already primed himself as the leading candidate for an individual award he hasn’t won since being selected No. 4 overall by San Miguel in the 2006 rookie draft.
In his first six years with the league though, the soft-spoken Ginebra guard has already won the Most Improved Player award during the 2009-2010 season and the Finals MVP of the Fiesta Conference.
Hot on the heels of Tenorio for the coveted plum is sensational Alaska rookie Calvin Abueva with a 28.2 SPs.
The 6-foot-1 Abueva may not be scoring much in the mid-season conference that allows teams to acquire imports of unlimited height, but still averages close to a double-double of 11 points and 9.1 rebounds.
Globalport top gunner Gary David is running third with 26 SPs, followed by Air21’s shooting forward Nino Canaleta (24.9) and Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee (24.7)
Alaska's Jvee Casio occupies the sixth spot (24.5), while rounding out the top 10 are Meralco’s Chris Ross (24.43), Petron’s Arwind Santos (24.36), Talk ‘N Text guard Jason Castro (24.3), and Globalport guard Solomon Mercado (24.2).