LA Tenorio was fuming after Brgy. Ginebra’s comeback attempt against Meralco in the winner-take-all match of the best-of-three quarterfinals series fell short due to a referee’s decision to call an offensive foul on a driving Scottie Thompson with 11 seconds left on the game clock and the Bolts up by just a basket, 106-104.
The usually approachable Gin Kings guard was not in the mood to talk to reporters after the crowd darlings fell to the MVP-owned franchise for the first time in seven playoff clashes.
“Huwag ninyo na ako munang interbiyuhin baka ano lang masabi ko sa officiating,” said a visibly irked Tenorio as he walked out of the team’s locker room at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“Pero sabihin ninyo sa kanya,” said Tenorio in between unprintable words. “Siya nag-decide ng laro. Ang ganda-ganda ng laro eh.”
The 38-year old playmaker, who finished with 12 points all from beyond the arc, was so furious that he confronted referee Peter Balao during a timeout to protest the call which he believes should’ve been a let-go.
Tenorio’s triple with 1:12 left gave the Gin Kings the upper hand, 104-103, and capped a spirited fightback from a 21-point Meralco lead. The clutch trifecta, however, was answered by Bolts big man Raymond Almazan in the ensuing play and it served as the final points of the match.
Thompson, who fouled out after the disputed call, paced the Gin Kings with 26 points in almost 44 minutes of playing time.