LA Tenorio on Game 1 win: Meralco made us bleed for every point | Inquirer Sports

LA Tenorio on Game 1 win: Meralco made us bleed for every point

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 07:59 PM January 08, 2020

Ginebra Gin Kings celebrate Game 1 victory. INQUIRER PHOTO/TRISTAN TAMAYO

MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra had to scrap its way to a 91-87 win over Meralco in Game 1 of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals in what LA Tenorio described as one of the hardest games they’ve ever been in recently.

Head coach Tim Cone described the Gin Kings’ win as ugly and Tenorio gave a similar description on how Ginebra escaped the Bolts in the opener.

“I had to let out a sigh of relief. This is, I think, the hardest game that we’ve played in the past years. It was tough,” said Tenorio in Filipino Tuesday. “They made us bleed for every point.”

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Ginebra felt the full brunt of Meralco’s imposing and physical defense throughout the game and it was evident in the Gin Kings’ assist numbers.

Tenorio and his bunch averaged upwards of 27 assists a game during the season and the playoffs but that number dipped all the way to 16 with the Bolts’ rotation quick to bother any open shooter or thwart any layup attempt at the rim.

“We had 16 assists and that was way below our average in the conference,” said Tenorio who finished with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting. “That’s where we saw how that team really focuses on defense.”

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With the importance of taking a 2-0 buffer in a seven-game series, Tenorio said it’s vital for them to improve on every aspect be it offensively or defensively.

“We really have to get better, not only offensively but also defensively,” said Tenorio whose team is playing a third finals series against Meralco in a span of four years.

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Tenorio also he’s familiar with how Meralco head coach Norman Black puts his team to work especially after he played for the Grand Slam coach during college in Ateneo.

“We really have to match their aggressiveness, and their defensive mentality. I know coach Norman, he was my coach in college, and he’s really a defensive coach,” said Tenorio.

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“It doesn’t matter if you’re a scorer, if you don’t play defense, you’re not going to play. I know his mentality, so we have to catch up to that.”

TAGS: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, LA Tenorio, PBA Governors' Cup, Sports

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