PBA Finals: A ‘desperate’ Meralco in Game 5 could be an advantage for Ginebra – LA Tenorio

Published January 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jan Carlo Anolin

Riding on a 3-1 momentum after Wednesday’s win, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team captain LA Tenorio believes the Kings gained another edge against the Meralco Bolts in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.

Ginebra's LA Tenorio, right, gestures after scoring as Meralco's Chris Newsome reacts during Game 4 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, January 15, 2020. (MB Photo / Rio Deluvio)
Ginebra’s LA Tenorio, right, pumps a fist after scoring as Meralco’s Chris Newsome walks on during Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, January 15, 2020. (MB Photo / Rio Deluvio)

Tenorio said the possibility of the Bolts becoming desperate in Game 5 could play into the Kings’ favor.

“It might be an advantage to us [na] for them to come out really desperate kasi syempre may tendency na manggigil,” Tenorio told reporters after the Kings routed the Bolts 94-72 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Kung ako rin naman ‘yung nasa kabilang side, ganun din ang iisipin ko. We just have to be aware of that and be ready for that.”

After the Game 3 win last Sunday, Tenorio said the absence of an injured Raymond Almazan could give them the upper hand in the series.

Almazan only played for 6:05 minutes and tallied two points and two rebounds that night.

Surprisingly, Almazan suited up in Game 4 despite a reported tear in the left knee, finishing with 12 points, nine blocks and one block.

“At first, medyo nakakailang kasi sabi ko nga, first time kong maglaro nang may nararamdaman. Pero pag naririnig ko ‘yung sigawan ng crowd tsaka ‘yung willingness kong manalo, nawawala [‘yung sakit] e,” Almazan said, who saw action for 27:51 minutes.

“Kasi minsan lang to e. Sabi nga ni coach [Norman Black] ‘di namin alam kailan susunod na Finals namin. Sabi ko sa mga teammates ko wala nang dapat pusong mamon sa amin.”

Almazan’s  heroics went to naught however  although he is expected to play in Game 5 when the Bolts fight for survival.

With Meralco backed against the wall, Tenorio cautioned against complacency.

The veteran guard warned that Ginebra cannot afford to give Meralco the confidence it needed to extend the series when the best-of-7 finals moves to the Mall of Asia Arena Friday.

“Mahirap kasi pag umabot ng Game 6 and 7, the pressure will be on us,” Tenorio said who had eight points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal.