‘Iron Man’ Tenorio has no plans of slowing down
MANILA, Philippines — LA Tenorio is keen on continuing his mythical streak of consecutive games played, and the key to his success, he says, is a more holistic approach to the sport.
The fourth overall pick in the 2006 PBA Draft, Tenorio has played 663 consecutive games for San Miguel, Alaska, and then current team Barangay Ginebra.
“I can’t really explain how I do this,” said Tenorio in Filipino as per the league’s official website.
“But the bottom line is getting ready every game—physically, mentally, emotionally—setting aside all the problems outside the basketball court. I just want to play. I just want to enjoy every game, enjoying the company of my teammates. This has been my comfort zone.”
Tenorio has obliterated the previous Iron Man mark of 596 games set by four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio set.
During Tenorio’s streak, he’s won six titles, four Finals MVPs, and one Best Player of the Conference plum.
There was, however, one instance wherein his run was put to jeopardy when the league resumed its season in Clark for the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup as the 36-year-old point guard was coming off surgery to remove his appendix.
Nevertheless, the consummate professional was able to make a full recovery with Ginebra head coach Tim Cone opting to manage Tenorio’s minutes during the conference’s first few games.
Tenorio got right back to his old self and led the Gin Kings to the title along with his fourth Finals MVP.
“I don’t really know anything to do aside from basketball,” said Tenorio. “So I want to make sure that I’ll make the most out of it. For me, this is truly God-given talent and I don’t want to take this for granted.”
“So, every game, every practice, I’ll make sure I’ll do everything right. Bottom line is enjoying the game. Enjoying the game with my teammates and most especially, enjoying the game with the opposing team.”
Playing for nearly 16 years in the league has brought Tenorio so much in terms of basketball, not only in awards and achievements but in the connections he’s made.
He’s played with and against players who have since become coaches, and while he sees his former colleagues wear buttoned-up shirts on the sidelines he’s still contented with wearing jerseys and sneakers until he decides to ultimately hang it up.
“In the long time that I’ve played in the PBA, I’ve made so many friends already. Not only players but also coaches from the other teams who’ve been my teammates before. It’s really a happy place for me, and if kids want Disneyland my happy place is the basketball court.”
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