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FIBA WC: Gin Kings hope to bring NSD spirit against Kazakhstan

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LA Tenorio drives against a Lebanon player in their tuneup match last Nov. 23, 2018 at Epsilon Chi Gym in UP Diliman, Quezon City. (MB photo | Kevin Espiritu)

LA Tenorio drives against a Lebanon player in their tuneup match last Nov. 23, 2018 at Epsilon Chi Gym in UP Diliman, Quezon City. (MB photo | Kevin Espiritu)

by Ernest Hernandez

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel has four players seeing action against Kazakhstan for the first game of the FIBA World Qualifiers. They are LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and Greg Slaughter.

All of them hope that playing together will help Gilas Pilipinas get that Ginebra crowd support. More than just hyping up the crowd, they also hope to bring the never-say-die spirit to the team.

“Sana yung yung never-say-die spirit madala namin sa Gilas,” said Thompson. “Siyempre, yung laro namin sa team para makatulong kami sa teammates namin at sa bansa namin.”

Probably on his last legs representing the national team, LA Tenorio hopes that the Gin King contention to Gilas will be efficient in contributing to the team’s goals.

“Definitely we will give our best, our 100-percent, kaming apat and the rest of the team to show everyone, mga kababayan natin na we are really here to qualify for the World Cup,” said Tenorio.

Exploring the possibility of putting all four Gin Kings together at the same time is something that they are already envisioning. Hence, hearing cheers from the crowd is something they are also looking forward to.

“Sana kung magsabay-sabay kami sa court, dagdag boost din sa amin iyon. Siguro din yung crowd, diba? Baka i-cheer kami. Sana dagdag kumpiyansa sa amin. Nakakagana,” said Thompson.

“Alam naman natin Ginebra, aabangan ng mga tao yan. Hopefully makapagsama-sama kami and mag-turn out na maganda,” Tenorio said.

Downplaying expectations, Tenorio emphasized that it should not only be the Gin Kings that will bring energy to the team but everyone who is tasked to play on the court.

“Maganda yun kung mangyayari pero ang goal naman is everyone dito maging accountable,” he said. “Pagbibigay lang ng boost, everyone who should play ay magbibigay lang ng boost, ng energy sa mga kababayan namin.”

With the possibility of putting them all four together in the court, Tenorio hopes that the fifth man will be 4-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo.

“Sana kaming apat plus si June Mar. Napakaganda noon. When can I play na alongside Japeth, June Mar, and Greg. Looking forward to that,” said Tenorio.

Used to hearing the “Gi-Ne-Bra” chants from their fans, Tenorio hopes they will cheer “Pilipinas” instead. Nonetheless, he doesn’t mind as long as they win.

“Pilipinas na lang. Pero okay lang, pwede pagsabayin,” he said.

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