PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Tenorio moves up in 3-point list as Ginebra turns back NorthPort to reach semis

Delfin Dioquino
Tenorio moves up in 3-point list as Ginebra turns back NorthPort to reach semis

STEPPING UP. LA Tenorio waxes hot in the second half for Ginebra after going scoreless in the first two quarters.

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LA Tenorio ties James Yap for the No. 3 spot in the all-time three-pointers list to help Barangay Ginebra overcome an 18-point deficit and beat NorthPort for a coveted semifinal berth

MANILA, Philippines – LA Tenorio moved up to No. 3 in the all-time triples list and guided Ginebra to the semifinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after a 99-93 win over NorthPort at the PhilSports Arena on Saturday, December 10.

Tenorio tied James Yap for the record after draining all of his 4 three-pointers in their second-half turnaround as the Gin Kings fought back from an 18-point hole to complete a sweep of the Batang Pier in their best-of-three affair.

Ginebra arranged a best-of-five semifinals with Magnolia for the first Clasico playoff series since the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup.

Scoreless in the first half, Tenorio hit his stride midway through the third quarter when he buried a pair of treys in an 23-12 run to end the period that saw the Gin Kings swing a 49-54 deficit to a 72-66 lead.

Tenorio then drilled in his fourth and last three-pointer that drew him level with Yap at 1,178 triples each with under three minutes left to give Ginebra a commanding 97-85 advantage.

Although NorthPort got within 93-97 after an 8-0 spurt highlighted by back-to-back treys from Kevin Ferrer and Arvin Tolentino, Tenorio sealed the win for his side by coolly sinking his foul shots to finish with 14 points.

Import Justin Brownlee showed the way for the Gin Kings with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks, while Scottie Thompson flirted with a triple-double after posting 15 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 steals.

Jamie Malonzo totaled 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals for Ginebra as he helped eliminate his former team.

Former NorthPort players Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle also made their presence felt in the victory by scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively, and combining for 13 rebounds and 5 assists.

The Gin Kings caught a break after the abrupt exit of Batang Pier rookie William Navarro, who scorched hot for 10 points in their blazing 29-13 first quarter.

Navarro drained back-to-back treys to open the game, sank a pair of free throws, and scored on a layup in a 21-6 start before leaving the game with under four minutes left in the opening frame after hurting his knee from a slip.

He never returned as Ginebra chipped away at its deficit and entered the halftime break down by just 4 points, 43-47.

Jeff Chan led the NorthPort attack with 20 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds, while Tolentino and Ferrer fired 18 points each.

Batang Pier import Prince Ibeh tallied 7 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 steals in the loss that prevented him from replicating his first PBA stint when he and NorthPort reached the semifinals three years ago.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 99 – Brownlee 20, Thompson 15, Tenorio 14, Malonzo 14, Standhardinger 13, Pringle 10, Gray 9, J.Aguilar 4, Mariano 0.

NorthPort 93 – Chan 20, Tolentino 18, Ferrer 18, Bolick 13, Navarro 10, Ibeh 7, Sumang 5, Balanza 2, Taha 0, Calma 0, Caperal 0.

Quarters: 13-29, 43-47, 72-66, 99-93.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.