Injured LA Tenorio still vital to Ginebra’s title defense, says Tim Cone
MANILA, Philippines—Coach Tim Cone believes LA Tenorio will play an important role in Barangay Ginebra’s bid to retain the PBA Governors’ Cup crown despite being ruled out for the rest of the conference with a groin injury.
Cone said Tenorio’s leadership is going to be vital, especially for the younger players moving forward as the Gin Kings now set their focus on a tough semifinal series showdown with the San Miguel Beermen.
“Dom’t underrate what LA brings to our team, both on the court and off the court,” Cone said after Ginebra’s 127-93 rout of NLEX in their lopsided quarterfinal affair on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“At this time, it’s off the court [and] it’s special stuff,” added Cone.
Tenorio has missed the last six due to that nagging injury that resulted in the end of his Iron Man streak of 744 consecutive games.
The Ginebra mentor lamented missing Tenorio’s knack for his ability to raise his game during the playoffs. But the qualities of the veteran playmaker to rally the team is something that will be crucial.
“I know we miss Playoff LA because he just goes to another level when the playoffs start,” said Cone. “But it was nice that he was at the game today, and that means we’re gonna get his leadership back.
“He’s gonna be around talking to the other players and we’re gonna use some of that as well.”