PBA: Blowout loss got Ginebra back on track, says LA Tenorio

PBA: Blowout loss got Ginebra back on track, says LA Tenorio

/ 09:52 PM April 01, 2024

LA Tenorio Ginebra PBA

Barangay Ginebra guard LA Tenorio.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–An embarrassing loss to a traditional victim and the continued absence of its ace playmaker, in a way, turned out fortuitous for Barangay Ginebra, according to its elder statesman LA Tenorio.

On the heels of an 87-77 triumph over Magnolia that had the club improving to 3-1 in the PBA Philippine Cup, the veteran point guard said on Sunday night that the defeat at the hands of Meralco and Scottie Thompson’s persisting back problem has allowed the crowd darlings to truly recalibrate during the long break.


“What has happened to us, especially before the long break, made us realize that we have to really work harder to get back that tough form that we used to have,” Tenorio told the Inquirer on his way out of Smart Araneta Coliseum.


“In that (91-73 loss to) Meralco, we were exposed,” he went on. “It’s a big blow that we don’t have Scottie (Thompson), too. But all that turned out to be an opportunity for us to get deeper into our lineup.”

LA Tenorio Ginebra PBA

Ginebra guard LA Tenorio.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Sunday’s triumph saw role players Nards Pinto and Sidney Onwubere playing extended minutes. The pair combined for 11 points, while the 39-year-old Tenorio, chipped in five to aid Ginebra’s starters.

“It’s nice to see Nards and Sidney playing that much this early as that would ready them for the big games and for the playoffs,” Tenorio said. “Don’t get me wrong, we miss Scottie, but it’s nice seeing everyone step up.”

That collective outing, which had Ginebra in control throughout the second half, was made possible by the work the team put in even when a big chunk of its players were away for the All-Star Weekend.

“We had a long break to adjust, get back to basics and regain our identity, which is playing a team game. and it was obvious tonight. We had 16 when the last time, we only had 11 assists,” Tenorio said.

“Coach Olsen (Racela), coach Richard (Del Rosario), coach Kirk (Collier) kept us going,” he added of the practices that took place during Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday.


“And I think that’s what’s nice about this team. Everybody here knows how to be committed [to a cause],” he added.

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