MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra veteran LA Tenorio will soon climb the all-time PBA three-pointers list in the playoffs – the very stage head coach Tim Cone has been reserving him for.
Tenorio is primed to surpass PBA icons Ronnie Magsanoc and James Yap for the No. 3 spot in most three-pointers made in league history, with Cone looking to play him longer in the playoffs where the stakes are higher.
Sitting at No. 5 all-time with 1,170 triples, Tenorio will attempt to overtake Magsanoc (1,171) and Yap (1,178) as the Gin Kings shoot for their seventh championship in seven seasons.
Jimmy Alapag holds the record for most three-point field goals made (1,250), followed by Allan Caidic (1,242).
“We’ve been trying to pretty much conserve LA through the whole conference,” said Cone.
“He is a big-time playoff player and we’ve been trying to preserve his minutes, we’ve been trying to keep him down to under 25 minutes a game, and we’ve been able to do that because of the depth that we have on our team.”
“But we know come playoff time, he is going to step up his game and we want him to have that energy for the game.”
Tenorio has been quiet all tournament long.
He averages 4.8 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 21 minutes of play as he failed to breach double digits in scoring in the first 11 games of the conference.
But as Ginebra wrapped up the elimination round with a 115-96 whipping of Converge on Wednesday, November 30, Tenorio appeared to hit his stride and fired a conference-high 14 points to go with 4 assists and 3 rebounds.
Fielded in for nearly 32 minutes, the 38-year-old shot 2-of-6 from long distance in the romp that gave the Gin Kings a chance to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“This is the right time for him to start stepping up and starting to play more minutes right here in this game and going into the playoffs. We rely so much on his leadership and we rely so much on his execution,” said Cone.
“He just understands the offense better than anybody else. When he is out there, we’re executing better than when he is not.” – Rappler.com