Should we call LA Tenorio, our modern day hero? Why not!
The Smart Gilas 2.0 came back from a double digit deficit to win the 34th William Jones Cup trophy at the expense of the mighty USA Team. The final score was 76-75. Gilas held on to a precarious 1 point lead down to the final buzzer.
This is also a come from behind win, just like what happened in Gilas 2.0's previous games against South Korea, Japan and Iran.
This time around, it was the smallest player on the court- the 5'8 LA Tenorio, who wowed the crowd with his 20 point output coming mostly from three-point shots and inside incursions. Take note, 11 of his 20 points came when Gilas needed someone to step up and nail some crucial shots late in the 4th Quarter.
Tenorio enabled Gilas to overhaul a 14 point deficit in the 2nd Half, making several key shots including a back to back three pointer from the top of the key and a step back perimeter jumper that gave Gilas the lead, 76-75, with a little over 30 seconds left in the 4th Quarter. Who would have thought that LA's perimeter shot would seal the win for Gilas.
USA dominated the 1st, 2nd, and 1/4 of the 3rd quarter of this ballgame. Thankfully, Gilas stormed back in the latter part of the 3rd up to the 4th quarter to bag this big win. Take a look at the scoring per quarter: 1ST QUARTER USA 13-12 GILAS; 2ND Q 34-23; 3RD Q 59-51; 4TH Q 75-76.
With a little over 7 minutes left on the 3rd Quarter clock, Jeff Chan made a three pointer and Gary David made a difficult lay-up to cut USA's lead down to 7 points, 41-34. But USA's shooters replied via a couple of three pointers to prevent Gilas from taking over the game. With less than 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd period, Chan and Tenorio sank numerous baskets to answer the run of USA, making the score, 59-51, at the end of the 3rd period.
Tenorio started the 4th quarter on a high note as he made 5 straight points. He later on made several other shots including the eventual game winning jumper with less than 40 seconds left on the 4th quarter clock. He made 11 big points in the 4th quarter alone to push Gilas to a 76-75 win over USA.
Tenorio was later on named as the tournament's Most Valuable Player because of his consistent fine performance for Gilas 2.0. He was one of the biggest reasons why the Philippines won its 4th William Jones Cup Crown.