Shooting for 2-0 lead, Bolts make stopping Tenorio a priority
The Meralco Bolts are up 1-0 in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals against Ginebra, but that doesn’t mean they are comfortable where they stand going into today’s Game 2 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The person causing all the unease for the Bolts? LA Tenorio.
In Meralco’s 114-109 victory Friday night, Tenorio shot a career-high 36 points and mocked every defender thrown at him, something Black hopes to stop at 6:30 p.m. tonight if he wants to steer his team to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“Nobody can guard Tenorio,” Black said. “Anjo (Caram) somehow gave us a lift defensively. He helped slow down LA a little bit.”
“I have no idea why LA scored so much,” said Black. “I know we did some good things, which we hope we can build on. There are certainly some bad things [we did] because LA got away with 36 points. We have to do a better job defensively against him.”
The Kings are usually strongest on the floor when they’re small with rookie Scottie Thompson, Solomon Mercado and Mark Caguioa alternately teaming up with Tenorio.
“We’re both defense-oriented and patient in offense. It wasn’t a good start for us. We have to battle harder in Game 2,’’ said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
On import matchups, Allen Durham and Justin Brownlee are expected to cancel each other out despite Durham’s monster performance of 46 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, including seven of Meralco’s 12 points in extra time.
Japeth Aguilar was startlingly absent in the offensive mix, but remains a force for the Kings defensively inside.
“We like to go big, we like to have Cliff Hodge as a 3-man. But when they go small with Sol Mercado, it throws us a little bit out of sync,’’ said Black.
Reynel Hugnatan has also become a huge factor for the Bolts while Alapag’s quest for the all-time most triples made could give them added inspiration. The 2011 MVP Alapag tied shooting legend Allan Caidic’s 1,242 threes and could very well surpass the feat in succeeding games.
“It’s important for me to manage his (Alapag) minutes well and be there at the end game and make big shots for us,’’ said Black. “That’s more important that anything else.’’