LA Tenorio issued a statement regarding his sudden absence from the Philippine Basketball Association.
Tenorio apologized to his teammates, coaches, the PBA, fans, media, and friends for not disclosing the real reason behind his absence, which he said would only lead to unnecessary rumors and misinterpretations.
In an official statement, Teniorio revealed that he was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, which led to his absence from practices and games.
“I was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. The initial testing three weeks ago led me to instantly miss practices and games,” read his statement.
“I have completed my surgery last week and will soon undergo treatment for the next few months.”
Known as the PBA’s ‘Ironman’ for his streak of 744 consecutive games played, the streak snapped last March 1 when Ginebra took on Meralco. The announced diagnosis was a case of sports hernia.
His last game was back on February 19, 2023. There, he tallied eight points, two rebounds, and an assist in 14 minutes of play against Blackwater.
“It’s not the end of LA. He’s gonna be back. He’s gonna come back to play. We’re looking forward to keeping a spot for him,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone back then.
Despite this, the decorated 38-year-old floor general remains optimistic. He believes that he can touch a basketball once more and return stronger with the help of the best doctors in the Philippines and Singapore.
“I have given not only 17 full years to the PBA but have dedicated my whole life to basketball. I have committed my body and health for the love of the game. It has been my passion and love. Sadly, there are things beyond one’s control,” he expressed.
“But with my FAITH, I am lifting everything to God now and I believe there is a higher purpose as I go through this part of my life. I am not yet retiring from the game I love, and with the help of the best doctors in the Philippines and Singapore, I BELIEVE i can touch a basketball once more and return stronger.”
Tenorio feels grateful for the support given to him by San Miguel Corporation chairman Ramon S. Ang, his good friend Alfrancis Chua, and the fans.
“Lastly, to all, as much as I greatly appreciate everyone’s well-wishes and messages of support and prayers – for my children’s well-being, in this social media and internet era, I am humbly asking everyone’s respect for my family to go through this journey privately and discreetly as much as possible,” he said.
“Together with my family and loved ones, you are all my strength, inspiration and what drives me to be the best person I can ever be, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I will see everyone very, very soon.“