PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Returning LA Tenorio hails new career start after cancer battle

Delfin Dioquino

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Returning LA Tenorio hails new career start after cancer battle

COMEBACK. LA Tenorio in action for Barangay Ginebra in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Ginebra star LA Tenorio says he is far from done as he returns to PBA action for the first time in 10 months after battling cancer

MANILA, Philippines – Surviving cancer and still playing professional basketball at 39 years old, what more can’t LA Tenorio do?

Tenorio said he is far from done as he returned to PBA action for the first time in 10 months after battling colon cancer, helping Barangay Ginebra topple Terrafirma, 110-99, in the Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday, December 3.

He finished with 6 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound, and 1 steal in 26 minutes of action.

“This is not the end of me. This is just the start,” said Tenorio in Filipino as the league feted him at halftime at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, with his family and closest friends in attendance.

Earning the moniker “Iron Man” for his longevity, Tenorio – a four-time Finals MVP – saw action in a PBA record 744 consecutive games.

He never missed a game for 17 years since he made the jump to the PBA, but his streak got busted as he sat out their 112-107 win over Meralco in the Governors’ Cup last season on March 1 initially due to sports hernia.

A couple of weeks later, Tenorio announced his diagnosis of Stage 3 colon cancer.

Tenorio underwent chemotherapy in Singapore and worked his way back to the pink of health, with Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone saying in September that his reliable ward was already cancer-free.

Cone, who has been with Tenorio since their time with the now-defunct Alaska franchise, hailed the veteran guard for being a “warrior.”

“The term warrior is such a perfect description of him. He’s been a warrior his whole career. Through all of this, he’s still being a warrior. He’s staying in character,” said Cone.

“It has been an incredible journey for LA. It started with a bunch of tears and then he just put his nose to the ground and just worked his way back.”

“Going through chemotherapy sessions…we know that it was really a really arduous journey to get back. Starting with tears, now we have such joy for him getting back.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.