LA Tenorio conceded that Barangay Ginebra San Miguel was simply outplayed by a determined Meralco squad during its 104-91 defeat in the opener of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
The Gin Kings had no answers against the Bolts, who took command of the contest held Wednesday, April 6 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum behind their first half shooting and a strong defensive effort that didn’t waver even before the final buzzer.
“Obviously, they outplayed us,” Tenorio said. “Sila yung nakita natin na team na mas gustong manalo talaga.
“Alam natin na sobrang motivated sila to win. We didn’t match their energy, we didn’t match their energy so we cannot afford to do that, especially in the championship.
“Actually, di na namin kailangan i-remind ang sarili namin na they’re so motivated to really wanting to win this series, not only this game.” he added.
Tenorio echoed coach Tim Cone’s sentiments that it was the same performance that Ginebra showed since the start of the playoffs when it overcame being the sixth seed to reach the finals with a chance to win a fourth Governors’ Cup title in the last five editions.
Ginebra fell behind by 21 in the fourth after failing to build more momentum when a 53-42 halftime deficit was reduced to half during the third.
“He said lang na hindi to yung team na kilala niya na naglaro for the past playoff games. I have to agree on that,” Tenorio said. “Wala, offensive and defensively, we’re out of whack in today’s game so hindi ito yung Ginebra na naglaro nung TNT series at nung NLEX series.
“And playing against a motivated Meralco team, we cannot do that. Now it’s time for us to adjust, but it doesn’t matter kung anong adjustment namin, kung di naman namin gagawin ng hard and if we cannot match their energy, wala ring mangyayari.”
That is why Tenorio sees the need for the Gin Kings to match the Bolts’ will, not only to just produce a bounce-back victory in Game 2 but also give themselves a belief that the series can be won.
“We really have to match their intensity, physicality and aggressiveness because this series will dictate who wants it more,” he said.
“Definitely they want it more, so kailangan pantayan namin yun. We want this also. This is a different championship game.”