May 24, 2024

Kings draw lift from Tenorio, Pringle in forging 2-2 tie with Bolts

WITH a big shuffle in their starting unit, the Barangay Ginebra Kings snapped out of a rut and sent their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven series with the Meralco Bolts at two games apiece.

LA Tenorio and Stanley Pringle were "magic bunot" for coach Tim Cone, providing Ginebra their veteran presence, court smarts and brilliance in a 90-71 rout cheered on by the Ginebra die-hards at the MOA Arena Friday night.

Tenorio and Pringle joined Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger in a starting unit that played with a must-win mentality and gave the team a hot start that carried them all the way to the 19-point triumph.

The Kings and the Bolts battle for the 3-2 series lead as they slug it out again on Sunday.

"Our energy tonight was so much better," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, making special mention of the efforts Tenorio and Pringle put up to get the team going coming from back-to-back defeats.

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Cone said Tenorio and Pringle responded big time, giving the team much lift and even the luxury of rest to the likes of Standhardinger, Aguilar and Thompson in the fourth quarter.

Tenorio and Pringle didn't deliver much numbers but made big impact as the Kings foiled the Bolts' bid at gaining an imposing 3-1 series lead.

The two were both sparkplugs in Ginebra's 31-15 first-quarter tear. The Kings later led by as many as 20 before the end of the opening half and by 25 in the second half of the lopsided match.

Tenorio collected seven points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals against one turnover in less than 23 minutes of action.

"Coach Tim mentioned in practice that I'm gonna start. Ako naman, I'm always ready kung ilang minutes man yan. I'm ready in practice at kung ano yung routine ko, yun pa rin. I will always be ready," said Tenorio, gaining the Best Player of the Game honors.

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"Lagi lang nasa isip ko, I'm gonna help this team in anyway I can, kahit ilang minutes pa yan," he added. "I'm happy nakabalik ako (from sickness) and more than that to be able to give the team a lift at manalo. Yung ang importante."

Pringle was also a key with a 14-point effort he laced with two three-pointers plus three rebounds.

Standhardinger flirted with a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, Aguilar scored a personal conference high 21 while Thompson put up a first double-digit output in the series with 15.

"Scottie has been struggling and it's good to see him break out," said Cone.

But even with their big win, Cone emphasized it's just one win, and they have to brace for Meralco's big fightback in the next game.

"It's a real pivotal game," said Cone. (SB)

The Scores:

GINEBRA 90 - J.Aguilar 21, Thompson 15, Standhardinger 15, Pringle 14, Ahanmisi 7, Tenorio 7, Pinto 4, Cu 3, Gumaru 3, Murrell 1, Pessumal 0R. Aguilar 0, David 0.

MERALCO 71 - Banchero 14, Maliksi 14, Newsome 10, Caram 8, Hodge 6, Mendoza 5, Torres 4, Quinto 3, Bates 3, Almazan 2, Pascual 2, Jose 0, Rios 0, Dario 0, Pasaol 0.

QUARTERS: 31-15, 47-32, 73-49, 90-71.