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Tenorio admits he never thought of playing 57 minutes for Ginebra

LA Tenorio logged in the most number of minutes for a Ginebra player since 1986. PBA Media Bureau

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--LA Tenorio has never missed a game in his entire PBA career so far--543 games and counting to be precise.

But on Friday night, he played what will boil down as his longest game so far in his pro stint.

Tenorio played for almost 57 out of a possible 63 minutes for Ginebra in a triple overtime thriller over Rain Or Shine that decided their playoff fate in the PBA Philippine Cup.

"To be honest, I wasn't ready for that kind of minutes. I knew that I'm gonna play for 48 minutes, but 57 minutes? Di ko ine-expect yun," said Tenorio.

In the 12th game in all of PBA that went into three or more overtimes, Tenorio logged in the fourth longest playing time among locals behind Kerby Raymundo (61 minutes), Jun Limpot (60), and Sonny Jaworski (58) as per league statistician Fidel Mangonon.

Also as per Mangonon, Tenorio logged in the fourth longest playing time for a Ginebra player as Michael Hackett and Billy Ray Bates also played 58 minutes in the same game that Jaworski played the said amount of playing time, Game 4 of the 1986 Open Conference Finals against Manila Beer.

Tenorio was relatively sluggish in the game, committing eight turnovers, but with the Barangay needing the win for them not to fall to the brink of elimination, he had to continue on.

"Wala nang ibang choice eh. So obviously, kailangan talagang isagad kung kailangang isagad just to get this win para magkaroon kami ng chance for the playoffs," Tenorio continued.

Good thing for him, Coach Tim Cone kept his faith on his star point guard.

"I think the trust na binigay sa akin ni Coach Tim, malaking bagay din yun knowing na during the second and third overtimes, I was struggling in my offense," Tenorio further said.

And that faith turned into a pivotal 100-92 win by Ginebra over ROS.

[Related Story: Ginebra zooms to Top 5 after downing ROS in triple OT thriller]

"Kung ano ang nai-contribute ko, malaking bagay na yun," said Tenorio, who finished with 20 points, six rebounds, two steals, and the lone assist that led to Jervy Cruz's breakaway layup for the exclamation point.

It's not yet over for the Barangay, however, as they will meet the Elasto Painters again on Monday night, this time in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinal series.

"Hindi pwede maging excuse [na pagod kami], especially sa ganun ka-importanteng laro, so we don't wanna make that an excuse," Tenorio continued. "Obviously, tao lang din, napapagod. Ganun talaga sa game. But again, the bottom line is kailangan naming manalo."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno