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'In LA we trust': Tenorio keys Ginebra to Game 1 win

LA Tenorio played every bit the part of a floor general in the PBA Philippine Cup finals opener, commanding the order and flow for Barangay Ginebra in its overtime win over TNT.

Tenorio came up with 3 crucial assists in the fourth and extra quarters as Ginebra eked out a 100-94 win to draw first blood in the best-of-seven duel.

Ginebra trailed 90-92 with 10 seconds left in regulation before Tenorio – splitting a double team – dished out a dime to rookie Arvin Tolentino for the overtime-forcing layup.

Tenorio then assisted on the two buckets that secured the win for Ginebra, the first on an Aljon Mariano short stab and the second on a Japeth Aguilar slam inside the final minute.

"We put the ball on his hands and make him make the decisions," said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. "In LA we trust."

"He has been around for us for so long. He is used to that kind of situation when he has the ball on his hands."

Tenorio finished with 12 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds against no turnovers – a steady display that is a far cry from his performances when he entered the PBA bubble.

Coming off an appendectomy at the start of the conference, the 36-year-old had his playing time restricted and he averaged only 2.3 points and 1.3 assists in his first 3 games.

But the player who holds the PBA record for most consecutive games played has since picked up steam, helping key Ginebra back to the All-Filipino finals following a five-game conquest of Meralco in the semifinals.

"It is almost like getting an extra player suddenly, because he suddenly reached his peak form," Cone said.

"In our sixth or seventh game, he was late getting on the bus to go to the game because they had to clean his wounds."

"What a guy. They do not call him the 'Iron Man' for nothing and it is well deserved, the reputation he has." – Rappler.com

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.

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