Tenorio missing piece in Ginebra's puzzle

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 02 2012 10:26 AM | Updated as of Sep 03 2012 12:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Barangay Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen considers LA Tenorio a gem of an acquisition that could well help the Kings' resurgence as a PBA championship contender.

"He's a very good addition, a major piece," said Tanquingcen of Tenorio who was acquired by Ginebra Friday through a complicated five-team trade deal.

"He's a nice piece since we had had an aging backcourt. He'll provide us fresh legs and new vigor. Hopefully, he can help us achieve our goal to get back winning a championship," Tanquingcen added.

The young Ginebra bench chieftain said they are done in rebuilding their lineup, following their earlier acquisition of Fil-Ams Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen from the rookie draft.

"Though we could always improve, we're happy with what we've got. We have our roster except if there's a good (trade) offer that comes along," Tanquingcen said.

Tanquingcen believes they have got a good balance with a team featuring their new recruits and old mainstays Mark Caguioa, Mike Cortez, Jayjay Helterbrand, Kerby Raymundo, Billy Mamaril, Rico Maierhofer, Rudy Hatfield, Willy Wilson, Allein Maliksi and Dylan Ababou.

"We lost some guys (Rico Villanueva, KG Canaleta and John Wilson) but that’s the reality in the PBA. It's give and take," said Tanquingcen.

One-time PBA MVP awardee Eric Menk, meanwhile, is still in the US, working on a new deal with the team through on-line.

"He's being offered a one-year extension package where he starts working like the one Johnny Abarrientos did in the last years of his playing career. He's more for emergency cases, no longer a main guy," said Tanquingcen.

"Being a player, of course, he still wants to play. But he's open to the opportunity being offered him," Tanquingcen added.

Whether Menk will be on the lineup at the start of the new PBA season will depend on his form and condition.

Tanquingcen is hopeful Ellis and Jensen could fill in the void left by Canaleta and Wilson.

"Jensen is a combo wingman while Ellis is a big two guard with a long wingspan and very athletic," said Tanquingcen.

"Jensen is like a young William Antonio while Ellis is a young Gabe Norwood," Tanquingcen added.

Ginebra was a middle-of-the-pack team last season, logging a 26-19 win-loss record.

The Kings placed sixth in the Philippine Cup before improving to third in both the Commissioner's Cup and the Governors Cup.