Tenorio, bagong ‘Iron Man’ ng PBA

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BOCAUE, Bulacan – Mula nang maging rookie – No.4 overall – sa 2006 season, hindi pa nagmimintis ng laro si Ginebra top playmaker LA Tenorio.

GREGZILLA! Naglambitin sa rim ang 6-foot-10 center Greg Slaughter ng Barangay Ginebra matapos makumpleto ang fast-break play sa two-handed dunk sa isang tagpo ng laro laban sa TNT Katropa nitong Linggo sa Philippine Arena. Nagwagi ang Kings, 90-79. (RIO DELUVIO)

GREGZILLA! Naglambitin sa rim ang 6-foot-10 center Greg Slaughter ng Barangay Ginebra matapos makumpleto ang fast-break play sa two-handed dunk sa isang tagpo ng laro laban sa TNT Katropa nitong Linggo sa Philippine Arena. Nagwagi ang Kings, 90-79. (RIO DELUVIO)

Sa edad na 34, masasabing may karupukan na ang mga tuhod ni Tenorio. Ngunit, sa kanyang ika-589 laro sa Barangay Ginebra, pinatunayan ng many-time National player ang bilis at kisig na mistulan nasa kanyang kabataan sa panalo ng Kings kontra TNT KaTropa, 90-79, nitong Linggo sa opening night ng PBA 44th season sa Philippine Arena.

Sa kanyang ala-ala, may dalawang laro na muntik nang hindi siputin si Tenorio.

Sa kanyang unang taon sa koponan ng Alaska, hindi na sana nakalaro si Tenorio kung hindi naagapan ng medikasyon.

“I was so exhausted back then I was so tired I drove straight to the hospital where I stayed overnight,” pagbabalik-gunita ni Tenorio “I was under IV (Intravenous) medication the entire night.”

“The following day went straight to practice but I never told coach Tim about what happened the night before,” aniya.

“For sure, he would have told me not to practice or he would have probably not make me play in our next game.”

Sa pagkakataong, nakadarama nang labis na pagod sa mabigat na ensayo, kaagad na nagtutungo si Tenorio sa suking ospital upang sumailalim sa therapeutic medication.

“For a while I chose to stay in the hospital after a grueling game but eventually it became boring for me. So what I did was I asked a nurse to do the process for me right at my home,” pahayag ni Tenorio.

Noong Disyembre 13, 2013, nakatakda ang laro ng Ginebra sa Cuneta Astrodome kung kailan oras nang panganganak ng kanyang maybahay na si Cheska sa kanilang anak na si Sian na ngayon limang taong gulang.

“She give birth via caesarian and though the operation went well, I was still worried the whole day until I was given assurance that everything will be fine,” sambit ni Tenorio.

Dahil malapit lamang ang venue ng laro sa Makati Medical Center, hindi na nagpatumpik-tumpik ang Kings playmaker upang mapanatili ang streak bilang ‘Iron Man’ ng liga.

Sa kasalukuyan, walong laro na lamang ang kailangan ni Tenorio para lagpasan ang marka ni four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio na nakapagtala ng 596 sunod na laro sa kanyang career bago nagretiro.

“Honestly, it’s a secret I can’t ascertain. I can’t determine whatever the key is to this feat. If ever, all I know is I just enjoy everything in practice,” sambit ni Tenorio. “Actually I also never missed a day in practice. I enjoy being with my teammates, our utility guys and enjoy playing crucial games.”

“Of course, prayers. For me, it’s the most important. Add to that is coach Tim’s philosophy in practice where he always tells us, ‘the way you practice is the way you play’,” aniya.

-DENNIS PRINCIPE