Philippine basketball

Love for ‘Iron Man’: Support pours in as LA Tenorio bares cancer battle

Delfin Dioquino

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Love for ‘Iron Man’: Support pours in as LA Tenorio bares cancer battle

HIGH HOPES. LA Tenorio hopes to get on the road to recovery.

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Teammates, opponents, and coaches come together to rally behind Ginebra star LA Tenorio as he wages his biggest battle yet

MANILA, Philippines – Support poured in for Barangay Ginebra captain LA Tenorio after he revealed that he is battling Stage 3 colon cancer on Tuesday, March 21.

Teammates, opponents, and coaches came together to rally behind Tenorio, who saw his Iron Man streak of most consecutive games played in the PBA halted due to the disease.

A longtime Gilas Pilipinas member, the 38-year-old guard received messages of encouragement from his national team comrades.

“Just pray and you can do it! You’re an Iron Man for a reason. We’re here for you. There are plenty of us who love you and pray for you,” Marc Pingris said in Filipino.

“Praying for you my brother,” said Jimmy Alapag.

Former Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player Andray Blatche also reached out to Tenorio as the two played together with Pingris and Alapag during the Philippines’ historic appearance in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

“Keeping you in my prayers bro. Get well soon,” said Blatche.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio said the organization is behind Tenorio.

“LA has been in many battles with us for flag and country. The SBP family now is with him and his family as they face this new challenge. Our players with the Tenorio family. Puso!” said Panlilio.

Even his fiercest foes in the PBA expressed their love for Tenorio, who bared that he will undergo treatment in the coming months after having surgery last week.

“Praying for you brother! I know you got this! You’re a warrior bro! We are all in your corner!” said San Miguel veteran Chris Ross.

Meralco guard Diego Dario said he looked up to Tenorio as he pursued his PBA career.

“Prayers up for my idol growing up! One of the reasons why I continued to pursue basketball despite being small. An inspiration to us all!” Dario said.

Blackwater head coach Ariel Vanguardia and St. Benilde head coach Charles Tiu sent Tenorio their well-wishes as well.

“We are with you in this battle,” said Vanguardia.

“That was really shocking news and painful to hear. Get well soon brother,” said Tiu.

Suiting up in 744 straight games, Tenorio missed a PBA match for the first time in his career earlier this March initially due to a groin injury.

But Tenorio said he only used that injury as the reason for his absence after being diagnosed with cancer three weeks ago.

Yet to hang up his spurs, Tenorio hopes to recover and “touch a basketball once more and return stronger.” –

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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.