Tenorio, Caguioa lift Ginebra over Rain or Shine 98-94By Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel edged Rain or Shine 98-94 behind its one-two punch LA Tenorio and Mark Caguioa Sunday night in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After playing the playmaker’s role in his Ginebra debut, Tenorio was the closer this time with 20 points, including a clutch basket that gave the lead back to the Kings for good, 95-94, with 37.9 ticks left.
“We didn’t play well. We were blessed to come out with a win. We only had six assists in the first half mababa yun compared to last game’s 32,” said GSM head coach Siot Tanquingcen, whose team had more turnovers (15) than assists (12). “Somehow we squeezed the game out.”
“First half pangit depensa namin. We must be consistent with our game and it will come. It’s going to be a process.”
The former Alaska Aces guard escaped Gabe Norwood before pulling up just below the free throw line not minding the help by big man JR Quinahan getting the predominantly Ginebra crowd to roar that familiar chant.
Norwood tried to silence the frenzy but couldn’t get the bounce on a tough drive before getting called for a controversial foul on a steal. Tenorio made two free throws after that to make it, 97-94, with 16.5 seconds remaining.
Jeff Chan, who engaged in a fourth quarter shootout with Caguioa, bricked a potential game-tying three. Chan finished with 25 points, 12 in the final frame.
“It’s a very good win. They’re a very fluid team, they have the chemistry, their team is what we’re trying to become,” added Tanquingcen.
Caguioa led Ginebra, which improved to 2-0 for early first place in the standings, with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Norwood put Rain or Shine on top, 94-93, with 51.6 ticks remaining after coming out of nowhere to take the rebound away from Caguioa for the athletic stickback.
The Elasto Painters, who won the 2012 PBA Governors’ Cup, blasted powerhouse Petron Blaze in their first game and were in great position to take down another team-to-beat in Ginebra even sans key players Paul Lee and seventh overall pick Chris Tiu, the former recuperating from a shoulder surgery while the latter injured his hamstring in the opener.
“Their confidence is very high and they have the mental toughness,” Tanquingcen said of ROS.
GSM’s Fil-American rookies Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen failed to replicate their rousing first game performance.
Ellis and Jensen, who had 12 points each in Ginebra’s win over Global Port, struggled with just two points apiece.
ROS trailed by as much as seven before taking a 90-87 cushion on a nifty drive by Jireh Ibanes with 3:06 left but back came Ginebra.
Caguioa tied the game with a three before a reverse putback Rico Maierhofer and a free throw by Tenorio put them up, 93-90, under two minutes remaining.
“We had that stretch where Kerby came out scoring, when he came out it was Caguioa and then LA. It’s a blessing being able to coach these guys.”
Raymundo and Maierhofer chipped in with 12 points each. Maierhofer added eight boards.