Sunday, August 16, 2015
LA Tenorio skips Gilas Pilipinas for Barangay Ginebra
Barangay Ginebra point guard LA Tenorio hopes his sacrifice of not joining the Gilas Pilipinas national team for its campaign in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship will pay dividends once the PBA season rolls around.
Tenorio was a key part of the national team that competed in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and the 2014 FIBA World Cup, but he decided not to play this year, citing fatigue and poor form.
"Almost four years na akong nasa national team, at evident ang fatigue factor," Tenorio said in July. "Evident na bumaba ang output ng laro ko last season. 'Yun 'yung fatigue factor. So I came out with this decision to be fair with both the national team and Ginebra."
"Kung magde-derecho ako sa Gilas, hindi rin ako magiging effective, and it's unfair to them. Then pagbalik ko sa Ginebra, malamang hindi rin ako magiging effective, and it's also unfair to them," he added.
Speaking after the Nike Rise Legacy Night on Saturday, Tenorio made it clear that he is "not turning my back to Gilas."
"It's just that this year, kami nila Ping (Marc Pingris)… kaunting understanding lang. Hindi naman kami nakalimot," he explained. "Siyempre, national team pa rin natin 'yan, and we still have to support them."
Like Tenorio, Pingris of the STAR Hotshots also opted not to play for the national team this year.
Tenorio is now hoping that his decision to take a break from the national team will pay off for Barangay Ginebra in the upcoming season, especially with the Gin Kings set to enter the Tim Cone era.
"I'm very excited to go back to Ginebra, kasi I really gave up the national team for this season," Tenorio said. "I'm really focusing sa stint namin this season for Ginebra, so malaking bagay 'yung mahabang pahinga na ginawa ko."
"Hopefully, itong naging decision ko, to opt out sa Gilas for this year, mag-pay off naman sa Ginebra," he added.
Tenorio is looking forward to his reunion with Cone, who used to be his coach back when he used to play for the Alaska Aces.
"I'm very excited for the whole team, na magkaroon kami ng isang Coach Tim sa team namin," he said. "I'm excited for the team, and I'm excited for this year sa Ginebra. As of now, intact kami, so it's up to Coach Tim na lang kung paano kami i-handle."
Tenorio is thankful that they have a ways to go before opening day, so that the Gin Kings will have time to adjust to Cone's triangle offense. At the same time, the point guard is confident that the multi-titled mentor will have the patience needed to teach the intricate offense to his teammates.
"He's a born teacher," Tenorio said of Cone. "Ituturo niya sa bawat player the right way to do the triangle."
The Gin Kings have not won a PBA championship in seven years, and Tenorio does not expect Cone's arrival to be a magical solution to the issues that have plagued the crowd favorites in the past seasons. He believes that they have a strong chance of improving upon their previous performances, however.
"This is our biggest chance na makapunta sa next level," said Tenorio, who noted that the Gin Kings often qualify to the quarterfinals of the playoffs but could not advance. "I'm not expecting to be champions right away, pero maka-semis or finals. We'll see what's gonna happen. Malaking leap na para sa team namin 'yun."