Tenorio relishes chance to stand his ground vs Barea
By Nelson Beltran Updated Thursday September 04, 2014 - 4:36pm

LA Tenorio (right) says getting the chance go toe-to-toe with NBA star JJ Barea of Puerto Rico is one the best moments of his stint in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. FIBA.com

SEVILLE, Spain - Getting to match up with a legit NBA player and somehow standing his ground, the Gilas Pilipinas-Puerto Rico game would go down in LA Tenorio's memory bank as among the sweetest moments in his FIBA World Cup experience.

"It's the ultimate," said Tenorio of his dream match-up with Puerto Rico star guard JJ Barea.

"Going to the game, that's my challenge. It's not so often that one gets the opportunity to play an NBA veteran who's really good," Tenorio pointed out. "We watched their videos. He's really good, he's averaging 20 points and he's carrying his team."

The Barangay Ginebra playmaker fought the eight-year NBA veteran toe-to-toe in the first half before fading away in the payoff period like the other Gilas players.

"I was really challenged, and that's my job. Now, eto ako bugbog na bugbog. Pagod (here I'm battered and tired)," Tenorio said.

"He's a mix of talent, smart, quickness, everything. And maybe that's the reason why at 5-9, he's been in the NBA for so long. It's a very nice experience playing him," Tenorio also said.

After putting in 13 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting in the first half, Tenorio added only five in the second half on 1-of-4 clip while Barea played steadily all night long, stepping up hardest in the clutch on an astonishing 30-point performance.

"It's just so hard. They put their best defensive player on me then I was still getting Barea on defense," said Tenorio, adding they're seeing and feeling here "scouting at its best."

 "You'll see these international teams. They have at least eight to 10 coaches with probably five of them doing the scouting. They figure the strengths and the tendencies of each player," he said.

"Look at Jeff (Chan), Ranidel (de Ocampo) and Jimmy (Alapag). Pagkatapos nilang pumutok, hindi na nila natanaw ang ring," he added.

"I had a good start (against Puerto Rico) because I was not scouted. But you see in the second half, their best defensive player was on me," he further said.

Tenorio, averaging only 2.6 points in their first three games against Croatia, Greece and Argentina, had his mini-breakout game against Puerto Rico.

Chan fired away 17 points in their first game against Croatia but was held to three points in their next two games.

"The scouts know that Jeff is a shooter, and so he's not being given shooting space," said Tenorio.

The same happened to De Ocampo and Alapag after firing away 18 and 15, respectively, against Argentina.

Tenorio could be the next marked man after his fine showing against Puerto Rico.

"Malamang, matindi ang scouting dito eh," he said.

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GROUP B
TEAMS WIN LOSS
Greece 4 0
Argentina 3 1
Senegal 2 3
Croatia 2 2
Philippines 1 4
Puerto Rico 1 3

 

Saturday, August 30, 2014
10:30 GMT
Croatia vs Philippines
Sunday, August 31, 2014
18:00 GMT
Philippines vs Greece
Monday, September 1, 2014
15:30 GMT
Argentina vs Philippines
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
11:30 GMT
Philippines vs Puerto Rico
Thursday, September 4, 2014
12:00 GMT
Senegal vs Philippines
RANK COUNTRY POINTS
1 USA 940.0
2 Spain 885.0
3 Argentina 490.0
4 Lithuania 432.0
5 Greece 376.0
6 Turkey 294.0