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LA Tenorio orchestrated Barangay Ginebra San Miguel's big plays down the stretch to lead the Gin Kings to a 110-90 victory against new-team-on-the-block Global Port before over 18,000 fans on opening day of the PBA's 38th season Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tenorio, the Gin Kings' biggest offseason acquisition, went one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing the game with nine rebounds and 10 assists, while adding two points in a big debut for the pro league's most popular ball club.
"Malaking bagay talaga si LA sa team. He brought a lot of intangibles to the team, particularly in the endgame," said Gin Kings winning coach Siot Tanquingcen.
The Gin Kings appeared in control of the match, building their biggest lead at 84-60 late in the third behind rookies Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen.
But the Batang Pier refused to go down without a fight.
Gary David, who struggled all night long on offense, kicked off Global Port's furious final quarter rally with four straight free throws before capping it with a booming three-point shot to slash Barangay Ginebra's lead to just 94-86, with 4:37 left in the game.
But the Gin Kings unleashed a telling 16-4 windup behind Tenorio, who had three assists and two steals in that stretch.
Barangay Ginebra (110) - Caguioa 18, Maierhofer 14, Mamaril 14, Jensen 13, Ellis 12, Hatfield 11, Raymundo 8, Maliksi 7, Helterbrand 5, Cortez 4, Tenorio 2, Wilson 2
Global Port (90) - Miller 26, Lingganay 14, Mandani 13, Daid 9, Vanlandingham 7, Salvador 7, Al-Hussaini 4, Raymundo 2, Manuel 2, Deutchman 2, Guevara 2, Yee 2, Cruz 0, Adducul 0
Quarter scores: 26-20, 55-39, 86-64, 110-90.
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