Veteran guard LA Tenorio delivered when it mattered as Barangay Ginebra surmounted Phoenix’s fierce challenge, 125-121 in an overtime thriller at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
The 36-year old guard drove for a clutch three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left in the last frame to force an extra period and finally notch their third straight win from a five-point deficit late in regulation.
Tenorio buried a triple and gave his team a four-point lead with 9.2 ticks to go in the extra period.
“What a hard-fought game that was,” stated Tim Cone after staying unbeaten through three games in the Governor’s Cup. “That was incredibly hard-fought.”
Ginebra’s resident import Justin Brownlee finished with a team-high 31 points, 9 boards and 8 assists while Christian Standhardinger added 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 steals.
Arvin Tolentino also filled the stat sheets for the Gin Kings with 20 points including a steal and layup that cut the lead to 112-111.
“We knew coming in against Phoenix, this is going to be a tough one for us. And they are a tough match-up too. They are quick and put a lot of pressure on us,” said Cone.
Aljun Melecio drained a three-pointer that gave the Fuel Masters a 112-107 advantage with 42.1 second left in the last frame but wasted the chance to notch the victory after the rookie and Paul Harris missed their free-throws.
‘Never Say Die’
It was Tenorio’s never-say-die spirit that made Ginebra’s immaculate record possible after coming through at crunch time with a big triple to the delight of thousands of live viewers at the Big Dome.
Matthew Wright, meanwhile, put up 20 points for the Fuel Masters while Paul Harris finished with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in his first game against the Gin Kings since the 2016 Governor’s Cup.
Brgy. Ginebra 125 – Brownlee 31, Standhardinger 30, Tolentino 20, Thompson 17, Tenorio 15, J. Aguilar 9, Onwubere 3, Salado 0, Chan 0.
Phoenix Super LPG 121 – Harris 26, Wright 20, Perkins 19, Banchero 18, Melecio 15, Muyang 6, Demusis 6, Chua 4, Manganti 3, Garcia 2, Camacho 2, Jazul 0.
Quarterscores: 32-23, 56-54, 80-83, 114-114, 125-121.