LA Tenorio scored just two points, but dazzled with 10 assists and nine rebounds, while Mark Caguioa led six players in double figures as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel cruised to an opening night victory over GlobalPort, 110-90, in the Philippine Cup Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings gave the sellout crowd of 18,901 plenty to cheer for with Tenorio orchestrating the show. Ginebra dished out 32 assists en route to 53 percent shooting from the field.
“Malaking bagay talaga si LA. He gives a lot of intangibles. He provides poise in the end. That’s why we got him,” said Ginebra head coach Siot Tanquingcen.
“We need someone to take charge, take control, make plays and make it easier and LA did that for his teammates.”
GlobalPort sliced a 24-point Ginebra lead to just eight, 94-86, with 5:18 remaining in the game.
Tenorio, who was acquired in a five-team trade in the offseason, anchored an 11-2 blitz capped by Caguioa’s three-point play for a 105-88 advantage to pu the game away with just 1:27 left in the match.
Rookies Keith Jensen and Chris Ellis gave a good account of themselves, scoring 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Two-time Most Valuable Player Willie Miller paced all scorers with 26 points, but the squad’s other superstar Gary David was held to just nine. The league’s top local scorer for the past three seasons shot miserably (1-of-10) from the field and committed six of his team’s 21 turnovers. GlobalPort rookie Alfred Mandani had an impressive 13-point performance.