Asian Games

Tenorio back on court, but at Gilas sidelines, for now

Philip Matel

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Tenorio back on court, but at Gilas sidelines, for now

MENTOR. Deputy coach LA Tenorio huddles with the Ginebra players.


Although out of action since his cancer diagnosis late March, LA Tenorio remains in the basketball spotlight, serving as an assistant coach not only for Barangay Ginebra but also for Gilas Pilipinas

MANILA, Philippines – Nothing short of a fighter, LA Tenorio now serves a special role as Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach under longtime mentor Tim Cone, who’s calling the shots for the retooled national team set to compete in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China this September.

“He’s really excited to work on the players, he’s had the great experience of playing in the Asian Games and the World Cup,” said Cone of Tenorio.

“He knows the international game well and I think it’s really a great fit for him and for us to have a guy that can talk to the players and share experiences.”

Tenorio, who is battling stage 3 colon cancer, committed full-time to join the team’s two-week training, sans for two days when he has another round of checkups in Singapore.

“Well, LA just finished his last treatment, [but] he’s going to miss two days, the 18th and 19th, I think,” shared Cone.

“But for the meantime, while he’s a coach, he’s going to continue working out as a player,” he added.

“He wants to become a practice player for the national team, just to keep himself ready for the conference.”

Despite being out of action since his cancer diagnosis late March, Tenorio remained in the basketball spotlight, working as an assistant for his ball club, Barangay Ginebra.

During the Philippines’ hosting of the World Cup, the veteran point guard also served as a FIBA global ambassador.

All these despite Tenorio heading to Singapore every fortnight for chemotherapy sessions.

“There’s nobody that fights more than LA, he’s a fighter,” said Cone. “He’s feisty. I hope that he’ll be able to turn the guards and fight like him. He’s going to be a great addition.”

Barring any setbacks, Tenorio hopes to return to action at the start of the PBA’s 48th season in November, his 17th professional campaign.

But for now, he’s focused on helping the Philippines secure a podium finish in the Asian Games.

In the 2018 edition, a national team led by Fil-Am NBA star Jordan Clarkson finished fifth in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“We’re going to be focused on ball movement… we’re going to make sure that the ball moves,” said Cone. 

“We’re going to be very defensive-oriented. I think that’s going to be our edge heading to the Asian Games.” –

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