Player of the Week May 24 to 30

THERE is little question on who Alaska’s on-court leader is.

Cyrus Baguio may yet fully rise and fill in Willie Miller’s shoes and Sonny Thoss and Joe Devance remain rock-solid pillars. But when it comes to direction, it is undeniable “Showtime LA” Tenorio is the man for the Aces.

The heady point guard named as Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period May 24 to 30 came up with a personal conference-high 26 points in lifting Alaska to a 99-97 overtime cliffhanger over B-Meg Derby Ace last Friday.

Rain or Shine’s Jireh Ibanes, Coca-Cola’s Gary David and Talk N Text’s Kelly Williams also came up with big games, but that of the decidedly more diminutive Tenorio definitely stood out.

Tenorio capped a game in which he also had five rebounds and six assists with all of his four OT points in the final 2.5 seconds, enabling the Aces to continue exacting some measure of revenge on their Philippine Cup Finals tormentor.

Due to a Miller buzzer-beating drive, Alaska also squeaked past the team formerly known as Purefoods, 83-81, the first time they met April 17.

This time, Tenorio delivered in spite of the Llamados’ unrelenting pressure that caused him to commit eight turnovers, only one unforced, in 43 minutes.

It is then quite understandable why coach Tim Cone was enthusiastic in his praises for Tenorio after the victory that bounced them back from a 93-105 loss to Barangay Ginebra the Saturday before and jacked their win-loss record to 7-5.

“LA is a fighter and as typical of him he fought through a lot of adversity to will us to a win,” said Cone of his playmaker, who also had two steals.

“I’m pleased that our team is beginning to take on his personality.”

That should come to the fore anew when Alaska starts its stretch run in the eliminations and an expected upper-tier slot in the playoffs. (NC)