LA Tenorio admitted that it would be hard for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to defend the PBA Commissioner's Cup crown if they can't beat the league's top teams in the playoffs.
The league's "Iron Man" also mentioned how Magnolia has displayed confidence in beating Ginebra in the games that mattered.
Tenorio and Ginebra saw their campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup cut short by Magnolia in the deciding third game of their best-of-three quarterfinal series Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The disappointing setback has left Tenorio pondering on Ginebra's chances of a title repeat in the season's second conference which opens in mid-May.
"We cannot win the championship again if we don't beat teams like Magnolia, San Miguel, even Phoenix and Rain or Shine, the top teams," Tenorio in the aftermath of Wednesday's 85-72 loss.
"Before thinking of defending the championship, we have to learn our lessons, look back kung ano talaga mga lapses namin this conference," he added.
Magnolia bounced back from a dismal showing in Game 1 by taking the last two games by an average margin of 20.5 points.
It was also Ginebra's second straight loss to Magnolia in the playoffs, including a 3-1 defeat in last season's Governors' Cup semifinals.
"I think nafigure out na nila yung formula how to beat us," Tenorio said. "Before di nila mafigure out kung paano nila kami talunin, now it's the other way around.
"Now it's our turn how to figure out how to beat them because we cannot win a championship if we don't beat a team like Magnolia." (JT)