Just like any other player playing in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble right now, amidst the unusual setup in the season restart due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, LA Tenorio conquered an array of “unimaginable” sacrifices.
The Barangay Ginebra guard not only parted ways and has yet to embrace his new born-daughter fully, but he also braved recently his first-ever major operation, a laparoscopic surgery, before entering the bubble. Then more than a month into the season, Tenorio, not yet fully healed, is engaging in a very combative arena that is the PBA. With this, his wounds would oftentimes swell and bleed after every bump during his squad’s battle.
Despite this, the Nasugbu-native — wounded, vulnerable, and all — would not quit and succumb to these adversities. Indeed, an “Iron Man” not just in court when he is wearing a jersey with a “5” on its center, but also in their homestead.
“I worked hard to not miss this chance kahit ganito sitwasyon ko. I’m already here kaya ibibigay ko na rin lahat,” said Tenorio.
With this, Tenorio, born on July 9, 1984, is our featured player for today.
1. Played Basketball At His Early Age
At the age of 6, Tenorio started playing basketball. When he was in third grade, he tried his luck and try out for Don Bosco-Makati’s basketball team.
Three years later, in sixth grade, Tenorio played a nationally televised exhibition game in front of a PBA audience. Don Bosco, his basketball team at that time, faced the Ateneo Grade School’s Small Basketeers Team.
Tenorio played impressive, tallying 31 points in only 21 minutes of play. Despite this, Don Bosco still failed to snag the win. He nonetheless made an imprint on the audience and possibly on scouting coaches at that time.
In highschool, Tenorio played for Adamson University under coach Charlie Dy before eventually transferring to San Beda under legendary bench tactician Ato Badolato.
2. He Fought For The Blue Eagles In The UAAP
Tenorio played for the Blue Eagles of Ateneo de Manila University, and right there and then, he made an impact as a rookie player. Whereas, in the do-or-die UAAP 64 seniors’ basketball finals match between his Katipunan-based team and its archrival De La Salle University, he was practically unstoppable, scoring 30 points. Ateneo, however, failed to bring home the trophy in Katipunan that season.
In UAAP 65, Tenorio fought back against the Archers in another win-or-go-home match in the UAAP basketball finals. This time around, Ateneo denied the Taft-based squad a back-to-back championship title and instead won it for their alma mater.
Tenorio and the rest of the Blue Eagles make a third straight Finals appearance in UAAP 66, but Ateneo would yield their crown to the veteran Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
Tenorio played five seasons with Ateneo de Manila and played under four college coaches: Joe Lipa, Joel Banal, Sandy Arespacochaga, and Norman Black.
3. Fourth Overall Draft Pick
In the 2006 PBA draft Tenorio was the fourth overall draft pick by the San Miguel Beermen.
4. From Magnolia To Alaska
Before his playing year as an Alaska Aces player, Tenorio first played for Magnolia. His 25.5 minutes average playing in the court led to an average of 7.8 points, 4.6 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in nine games.
However, in March 2008, Tenorio, along with Larry Fonacier, was absorbed by the Aces via a PBA trade.
5. Did Not Disappoint Alaska’s Expectations
As expected, Tenorio delivered the goods for Alaska during his first four games of the 2009 PBA Philippine Cup, exceeding expectations in the process.
As a starting point guard, Tenorio led the Aces to beat the powerhouse San Miguel Beer in their season opener. Then little by little, Tenorio led his team to the top of the PBA standings.
6. The Chief Of Gilas In 2012
In 2012, Tenorio made his name on the Smart Gilas 2.0 roster’s final list, which later on participated in the prestigious 2012 William Jones Cup. With a 6-1 win-loss record, Gilas faced the USA Team in the gold medal match.
Scoring 20 points, Tenorio spearheaded the national team’s momentous victory over the gritty USA team, 76–75, and brought home the country’s 4th championship in the Jones Cup. Tenorio eventually became the tournament’s MVP.
7. Traded Anew
After leading the Smart-Gilas Pilipinas team to a gold medal finish in the 34th William Jones Cup, Tenorio was traded anew on August 31, 2012. This time to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel via a six-player blockbuster deal. Rumor has it that Tenorio was traded to a different team for insisting to play for the national team in the 2012 FIBA Asia Cup.
8. Known For “Pambansang Reverse”
Tenorio was remembered in the international basketball arena for his reverse lay-up, tagged as “Pambansang reverse.”
9. Received Numerous Accolades
On October 14, 2016, Tenorio was recognized during the PBA Leo Awards Night as he was named one of the PBA’s Mythical Second Team. In 2017, he was again hailed as one of the PBA Mythical Second Team.
Aside from this, Tenorio also received the following:
• 5× PBA champion (2010 Fiesta, 2016 Governors’, 2017 Governors’, 2018 Commissioner’s, 2019 Governors’)
• 3× PBA Finals MVP (2010 Fiesta, 2016 Governors’, 2017 Governors’)
• PBA Best Player of the Conference (2013 Commissioner’s)
• 9× PBA All-Star (2009, 2011–2015, 2017–2019)
• 2× PBA Mythical First Team (2010, 2013)
• PBA Most Improved Player (2010)
• PBA All-Rookie Team (2007)
• PBA Order of Merit (2017)
• PBL Champion (2005-06 Unity Cup)
• UAAP champion (2002)
• 2× UAAP Mythical Team (2004, 2005)
10. Played 597 Consecutive Games In The PBA (and counting…)
Surpassing PBA legend Alvin Patrimonio for the most number of consecutive games played, Tenorio, set the new PBA record after appearing in his 597th straight game on March 17, 2019. Since the day he was drafted as the fourth overall pick by the SMB in 2006, Tenorio has never missed a game. Thus far, he is now playing on his 650th game in the PBA.