Barangay Ginebra now in 'playoff mentality,' says LA Tenorio

MANILA, Philippines – There are still 3 games left for Barangay Ginebra before the quarterfinals begins but the Gin Kings are already treating the homestretch of the elimination round as if it is the playoffs.

Veteran LA Tenorio said that Ginebra carries a sense of urgency heading to their last few games and it showed on Wednesday, February 7, as they romped the Kia Picanto, 103-77.

“Coming into this game, this is our playoff game already. This is the start of the playoffs so this is Game 1 of our playoffs,” said Tenorio, who was one of the 5 Ginebra players to finish in double digits with 13 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds against Kia.

“When you’re in the playoffs, you can’t afford to make mistakes or let go of one possession so it’s really important for us to be in the playoff mentality.”

It has been a tough conference for the Gin Kings, who hold a 4-4 card to tie the Phoenix Fuel Masters and the TNT KaTropa at 4th place.

For a team that was touted to be the biggest threat to the San Miguel Beermen’s 4-peat aspirations, losses to the Blackwater Elite, Phoenix and the NLEX Road Warriors have raised some eyebrows about the legitimacy of their title contender tag.

Ginebra has also been bitten by the injury bug as forwards Joe Devance and Art dela Cruz, who are both nursing their respective injuries, have yet to log in a single minute this season while Greg Slaughter is still on his way getting back to top shape off a hamstring injury that sidelined him for 3 games.

But Tenorio said that they have moved on from their previous losses and that they are approaching the tail end of eliminations with a clean slate.

“This is 0-0 for us and we won Game 1 so we’ll go to Game 2. So when get into the playoffs, we’re ready. Alam namin how to play in the playoffs kasi we’re preparing ourselves starting from now.”

Ginebra will try to get a winning streak going as it lock horns with the KaTropa on February 11 at the Araneta Coliseum.

“In the playoffs, nothing comes easy so we’ll really find ways how to win on Sunday. One-point win lang ang kailangan namin (is all we need) every game from here on,” Tenorio added. –

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.