Ginebra's LA Tenorio ahead of game 5: 'Wala kaming karapatan mapagod'
MANILA, Philippines – Veteran guard LA Tenorio does not see fatigue affecting Barangay Ginebra at this point of the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup playoffs, when they've come so close to achieving their goal all conference.
Being only one win away from a return trip to the Finals after 3 years, Tenorio believes this is not the time for the Gin Kings to make any excuses. (LIVE BLOG: PBA semifinals game 5 – Ginebra vs San Miguel)
"Fatigue is not a factor especially if you're hungry," Tenorio told reporters after Ginebra absorbed a 101-72 beating from its sister team in game 4 to force a winner-take-all game 5.
"Lalo na kaming Ginebra wala kaming karapatan na mapagod kasi ang tagal na naming hinintay 'tong pagkakataon na 'to and I don't think sasayangin pa namin 'to," added the 32-year-old, who was part of Ginebra's last run to the Finals in the 2013 Commissioner's Cup but lost to Alaska via sweep.
(Especially us at Ginebra, we don't have a right to be tired because we have waited so long for this opportunity and I don't think we will waste this.)
"Fatigue is not a reason. Kailangan namin magpahinga after the Finals na siguro (We can rest after the Finals perhaps). I don't think fatigue is a factor."
The Gin Kings were a step slow as early as tipoff in game 4 following a grueling game 3 that needed a big game-winning bucket from Japeth Aguilar to pull through.
The Beermen promptly capitalized by setting the tone of the contest early and by the second quarter, marksman Marcio Lassiter smelled blood and fired 14 of his team-high 25 points – on 6-of-7 shooting from downtown in that entire first half – to knock the fight out of Ginebra for good.
The Gin Kings, who went scoreless for the first 8 minutes of the second frame amid Lassiter's relentless gut-punching 3-pointers, never recovered and eventually trailed by as much as 33 points.
"Actually simula pa lang ng game. Doon pa lang wala na kaming concentration sa defensive rules namin so medyo dun pa lang," Tenorio admitted.
"Yun nga, uminit si Marcio tapos nagkaroon na rin ng kumpiyansa ibang teammates ni Marcio. Mahirap talunin San Miguel kapag ganyan."
Ginebra was a paltry 17-of-57 from the field that night with its usual suspects like Scottie Thompson and Sol Mercado going scoreless, while Japeth Aguilar had just one point.
Head coach Tim Cone yielded he saw exhaustion from his players a day earlier in practice coming off game 3.
As San Miguel heaved a sigh of relief for a chance to fight another day, Ginebra, before a 22,196-strong crowd, huddled at centercourt immediately after the final buzzer.
Tenorio shared the team talked about moving past game 4 and their poor showing, saying "it's over and done with" and they needed to focus all their energies for the decider.
"We played our worst game this series so I don't think it will happen again next game," he said.
When Ginebra and San Miguel face off Tuesday night, October 4, at 7 pm, not much else will matter except for which of them wants it more.
"It's not about the technicals anymore for (game 5). Kung sino lang talaga gustong manalo sa next game (It's whoever really wants to win). It's all about the mental game. It's do-or-die," Tenorio said.
"We've been in this situation for the past conferences. So sana natuto na kami sa mga last conferences na we failed (So I hope we learned from the last conferences where we failed).
"It's a really wakeup call that it's not going to be easy against San Miguel and nothing comes easy in winning a championship." – Rappler.com