MANILA, Philippines – LA Tenorio will spend the holidays without his family – missing a trip abroad with his loved ones which coincided with the PBA finals.
But the missed chance at precious family time will be made worth it for Tenorio if Barangay Ginebra beats guest team Bay Area for its fourth championship in six conferences.
“It is added motivation for me that if I was not able to come with them, might as well win this thing all the way, right?” said Tenorio in a mix of Filipino and English.
Tenorio displayed utter focus despite not having his family by his side for Christmas, leading the Gin Kings to an emphatic 96-81 victory over the Dragons in Game 1 of their best-of-seven finale on Sunday, December 25.
He finished with a conference-high 22 points on top of 3 assists and 3 steals, setting the tone in the win with game-high 14 points in the first half.
“It was really a mix of emotions because this is the first time I will spend Christmas away from my family,” said Tenorio.
“But … at the end of the day, it is really a blessing. It is a blessing for the family that they get to spend their vacation even without me and I’m here playing in the finals, in front of thousands of fans during the Christmas season.”
Tenorio said missing special events comes with the job.
“Being a professional, this is part of our sacrifice. Every time we play in the playoffs, my family is supportive about it. They really allow me to focus on what I have to do every playoffs.”
Ginebra shoots for a 2-0 lead when it meets Bay Area on Wednesday, December 28, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com