MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra star LA Tenorio has been diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.
Tenorio had already been ruled out for the remainder of the PBA Governors’ Cup last March 1 initially due to a groin injury.
In a statement released on the PBA website on Tuesday, Tenorio revealed the real reason for his “sudden absence.”
“I would like to issue a statement about my health status by firstly apologizing to my teammates, some coaches, the PBA, the fans, the media and even some friends. As most of you are aware I have been nursing a minor injury since the Finals last January. I used that as the reason for my sudden absence. My sincerest apologies to all,” Tenorio said.
“I was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. The initial testing three weeks ago led me to instantly miss practices and games. I have completed my surgery last week and will soon undergo treatment for the next few months,” the statement read.
“I have given not only 17 full years to the PBA, but have dedicated my whole life to basketball. I have committed my body and health for the love of the game. It has been my passion and love. Sadly, there are things beyond one’s control. But with my FAITH, I am lifting everything to God now and I believe there is a higher purpose as I go through this part of my life.”
The 38-year-old Tenorio holds the PBA record for consecutive games played at 744.
His impressive streak that began when he made his PBA debut on October 6, 2006 ended on March 1 in a 112-107 Ginebra win over Meralco.
Tenorio cleared he has no plans to retire despite his health status as he vowed to comeback better than ever.
“But with my FAITH, I am lifting everything to God now and I believe there is a higher purpose as I go through this part of my life. I am not yet retiring from the game I love, and with the help of the best doctors in the Philippines and Singapore, I BELIEVE I can touch a basketball once more and return stronger,” he said.
Tenorio last played on February 19, scoring eight points and grabbing two rebounds in close to 15 minutes of action in a 119-93 whipping of Blackwater.
The former Ateneo standout has won eight PBA titles while also earning four Finals MVP awards. He was drafted fourth overall by San Miguel Beer in 2006.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have been helping me in this journey. I am truly blessed to be part of the San Miguel Family – Boss RSA’s undying support and sincere care has been truly a Godsend. Boss Alfrancis Chua – my family and I appreciate you, thank you for everything,” Tenorio said.
“Lastly, to all, as much as I greatly appreciate everyone’s well-wishes and messages of support and prayers – for my children’s well-being, in this social media and internet era, I am humbly asking everyone’s respect for my family to go through this journey privately and discreetly as much as possible. Together with my family and loved ones, you are all my strength, inspiration and what drives me to be the best person I can ever be, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I will see everyone very, very soon.”
Despite Tenorio’s absence for Ginebra, coach Tim Cone said the former national team mainstay remains a vital part of the Gin Kings’ title defense.
Ginebra on Sunday secured its spot in the semifinals where it clashes in a best-of-five duel with San Miguel Beer.
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