Tuesday, November 10, 2015
LA Tenorio believes Gilas 4.0 has golden shot at Rio Olympics
Gilas Pilipinas may be facing a tall order as it tries to grab one of the three Olympic slots in the qualifying tournament in July 2016, but veteran national player LA Tenorio strongly believes the national team has a big chance of making it back to the Summer Games.
And the speedy Barangay Ginebra guard points to national coach Tab Baldwin as the biggest reason for that.
“Hindi pa naman tapos eh. Sa ngayon malaki pa rin chances natin (to make the Olympics) kasi nandiyan si coach Tab. So iyung experience niya being in (the) international (tournaments) malaking bagay din yun at nadadala din niya sa team,” Tenorio told media men shortly after the first practice of the 17-man Gilas Pilipinas national pool Monday night at the Meralco gym.
Absent from Gilas’ recent silver-medal run in the Fiba-Asia men’s championships in Changsa, China last September, Tenorio said he was actually surprised to be named to the pool again considering that Jayson Castro, Paul Lee and Terrence Romeo are already part of the stacked-up list.
“I’m surprised to be back and be given the opportunity again by coach Tab to be here. I think may purpose bakit ako nandito so I’ll make sure I’ll do my best kasi alam naman natin ang mga talent na nandito,” he said.
“But I’m here and kung ano man matutunan ko, I’m happy to represent the country.”
And whether he’ll be part of the final 12 or not, the Ginebra sentinel said Gilas will surely be competitive and serve notice to the rest of the world that the Philippines can compete globally.
“Kung sino man ang magiging part ng final lineup, I think it’s the best 12 na makukuha,” he said.
“With the experience of coach , siya lang may experience sa Olympics and world stage, hopefully din naman, ma-prove natin na kaya natin makipag-compete sa ibang bansa.”
The 5-foot-8 Tenorio averaged 6.2 points, 1.6 assists and 1.2 rebounds for Gilas in last year’s world championships in Seville, Spain.
Tenorio had his best performance in the Fiba World Cup after pumping in 18 points, going six-of-nine from the field though the Filipinos bowed to Fiba Americas powerhouse team Puerto Rico, 77-73 to bow out of contention for the round-of-16.