ANTIPOLO – It would be totally understandable should LA Tenorio choose to step away from the game for a while and solely focus on his treatment.
Yet he continues to be of help to Ginebra by merely showing up, and that’s something head coach Tim Cone feels extremely honored of.
Days after disclosing that he’s diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, the ‘Gineral’ joined the coaching staff in Game 1 of the Kings’ PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series versus San Miguel Friday at the Ynares Center here.
“I’m just honored that he’s still taking the time to come here and care about his teammates,” said Cone, who first handled Tenorio in Alaska back in 2008. “It would be very easy to go out and be on his own and worry about himself.
“But he’s still very much concerned about the team and how we do things. For me it’s just an honor for him to be here with us,” he added.
It was the reigning champs’ first game since Tenorio’s admission that shook the league, which led to an outpouring of messages expressing love and support for the sure-fire Hall of Famer once everything is said and done.
News broke out last Tuesday but Cone refuses to delve much into his long-time point guard’s situation, as he and the club would want to respect Tenorio and his family’s decision to handle the matter as privately as they can.
“He’s asked to be private about it and he’s been very definite about that — to the team, to the coaching staff, and the management — that he wants to keep things as private as he can,” said the 65-year-old bench tactician.
“He wants this to be as private as he can … It’s been tough on us, but it’s been much, much tougher on him and his family. We’re all just here for him.”
Now, Cone and the rest of the crowd darlings are looking to honor the ‘selfless’ Tenorio by consistently playing their best and the hardest.
“I just find it really selfless on his part to be here and I think the whole team feels that,” he said. “You know, it can be kinda corny [to say that] we’re doing this for LA — of course, we’re doing this for LA. It doesn’t need to be said.
“I don’t think it needs to be repeated. He honors us by our presence. Hopefully we can honor him by continuing to play hard, and playing his image.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.