MANILA, Philippines – Veteran point guard LA Tenorio remains hopeful that the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings can get their act together and make a run in the 2016-17 PBA Philippine Cup despite an inconsistent showing from the perennial crowd favorites so far.
Coming off their first PBA title in eight years in the 2016 Governors' Cup, Ginebra has alternated wins and losses in the All-Filipino Cup. Most recently, they bowed to defending champions San Miguel, 70-72, to drop to 3-4 in the tournament.
The Gin Kings currently sit at ninth place in the league standings, meaning they will be one of four teams to be eliminated if the playoffs started today.
"May chance pa naman eh," Tenorio said after their loss to SMB last Sunday, which saw them limit the Beermen to their lowest output of the season but fail to take advantage of it.
"Hawak pa rin namin 'yung baraha namin," he pointed out.
Tenorio believes their struggles are mostly on the offensive end, and not on defense, and that if they can make the shots that they usually make, they will be okay. Moreover, the point guard believes that if the Gin Kings continue to put together the kind of effort that they did against San Miguel, they can get past other teams.
"If we play like that every game against other teams, I think malaki ang chance namin na manalo. Malakas lang talaga ang San Miguel," he said.
"Same effort lang sa ginawa namin (against SMB)," added Tenorio, who had eight points and four assists in 31 minutes against the Beermen.
Tenorio does feel that Ginebra squandered a golden opportunity to hand San Miguel its second loss of the tournament, especially as they were able to limit the offensive production of reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo (nine points).
"Kung iisipin mo, nakaka-disappoint talaga, and we should be. We should be disappointed in this game," he said.
"But, looking at the bigger picture, if we can do that against June Mar… well, there's no June Mar sa mga next games namin," he noted.
"Pag ginawa namin 'yung ganitong klaseng game every time, we have a better chance to go to the next round, malaki ang chance namin," Tenorio stressed.
Moreover, Tenorio is convinced that games like the one against San Miguel is precisely what Ginebra needs in order to perform better in the playoffs, should they make it that far
"Just like last conference, 'yung mga games na katulad nito, 'yun ang mga games na gusto namin," he said. "It will prepare us going into the next games, and going to the playoffs."
The Gin Kings still have to play Meralco, Blackwater, Phoenix, and NLEX in the elimination round.
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