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Ginebra blasts Terrafirma in LA Tenorio’s return; Chris Banchero saves day for Meralco

MANILA, Philippines, December 4 ------ The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings welcomed the return of LA Tenorio to their lineup with a dominant 110-99 win over the Terrafirma Dyip in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena. After being sidelined for nearly 10 months due to his battle with Stage 3 colon cancer, Tenorio showed no signs of rust in his first game back with the Gin Kings as he put up 6 points on 2-of-5 shooting, 1 rebound, 3 assists, and 1 steal in close to 26 minutes as a starter.

Tenorio, who has been declared cancer-free since September, poured in all of his 6 points in the third quarter, nailing both of his three-point attempts from the right wing. Tenorio’s return comes at the perfect time for the Gin Kings as they are set to miss Scottie Thompson for three weeks due to a knee contusion he suffered in their last game against Rain or Shine. “It’s been an incredible journey for LA. We started with a bunch of tears and he just put his nose to the ground and just worked his way back,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “We missed him, we missed his leadership. It was evident on the floor. We came out second half struggling a little bit against their zone and LA stepped up and made two big three-pointers to keep us moving. To me, the term warrior is such a perfect description of him. He’s been a warrior his whole career and through all these, he’s still being a warrior and he’s staying in character,” added Cone of the PBA’s ‘Iron Man’ Tenorio, who played a league-record of 744 consecutive games prior to his bout with cancer.

Tony Bishop and Christian Standhardinger imposed their will against the Dyip’s frontline as both big men posted double-doubles in the victory. Bishop had 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Stanhardinger tallied 24 markers and 10 boards. Japeth Aguilar also made his presence felt inside the paint for the Gin Kings with 19 points and 7 rebounds.

For the Dyip, Javi Gomez de Liaño topscored with 22 points on 4-of-9 shooting from deep. Thomas de Thaey recorded a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Juami Tiongson chipped in 13 points. With its third straight win, Ginebra improved its record to 4-1 and dealt Terrafirma its third consecutive loss for a 2-4 card. Meanwhile, Chris Banchero saved the day for the Meralco Bolts as they survived the NLEX Road Warriors’ furious fourth-quarter comeback for a nail-biting 97-94 win in the curtain-raiser. With the score knotted at 94-all after a cold-blooded triple by NLEX star Don Trollano, Banchero took it upon himself and delivered the game-winning floater with only 2.8 seconds left.

Banchero finished with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting for Meralco, which led by as many as 29 points, 77-48, midway through the third quarter. Suleiman Braimoh showed the way for the Bolts with a game-high 38 points, before exiting the game at the 3:55 mark of the final frame due to an apparent Achilles injury. “A win is a win, but obviously more than that, we’re worried with Su (Braimoh). He felt something in his Achilles,” said Meralco head coach Lugi Trillo. “Su’s been playing so well for us. I think he’s a great import and a perfect fit for us. Seeing him like that just hurts. It takes away a little bit of the win for us,” he added.

Trollano and Stokley Chaffee Jr. paced NLEX in the heartbreaking loss with 24 points apiece. Chaffee dropped 14 points, while Trollano pumped in 10 in the Road Warriors’ gutsy fourth-quarter rally, where they outscored the Bolts, 32-15. Meralco claimed its second straight win and moved up to 4-1, while NLEX suffered its second loss in a row and slid to 2-4.

The Scores:

First Game

Meralco 97 – Braimoh 38, Banchero 15, Newsome 14, Quinto 12, Almazan 6, Rios 5, Hodge 3, Dario 2, Jackson 2, Pasaol 0, Jose 0, Pascual 0, Bates 0.

NLEX 94 – Trollano 24, Chaffee 24, Anthony 11, Herndon 9, Semerad 8, Rosales 7, Nieto 4, Rodger 3, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Miranda 2.

Quarters: 29-17, 54-34, 82-62, 97-94.

Second Game

Ginebra 110 – Bishop 26, Standhardinger 24, J. Aguilar 19, Malonzo 14, Ahanmisi 10, Tenorio 6, Pinto 6, Pessumal 3, Cu 2, Pringle 0, Gumaru 0, R. Aguilar 0.

Terrafirma 99 – Gomez de Liaño 22, De Thaey 18, Cariño 14, Tiongson 13, Go 10, Holt 7, Ramos 4, Mina 3, Alolino 2, Calvo 2, Cahilig 2, Camson 2, Daquioag 0, Miller 0.

Quarters: 25-29, 53-42, 83-68, 110-99.



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