LA Tenorio is not a spry youngster anymore at 33 years old.
And yet, the 12-year veteran managed to play almost 57 minutes in Barangay Ginebra’s 100-92 triple overtime win over Rain or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup.
At an age where he can be excused to sit out an extra five minutes, let alone a whole game, Tenorio was just “blessed” to be able to prove that he is the Ironman of his generation.
“I can’t complain right? I’m sure a lot of players, a lot of aspiring basketball players want to be in my shoes right now,” said Tenorio in Filipino Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “I take this as a blessing because I can still play this long at this point of my career.”
“The team trusted me, especially coach [Tim Cone] so it’s really a blessing for me and I don’t want to take it for granted.”
Tenorio played exactly 56:52, the fourth longest playing time in a single PBA game among the local players behind Kerby Raymundo (61 minutes), Jun Limpot (60 minutes), and Robert Jaworski (58 minutes).
And in those minutes, Tenorio finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and two steals while shooting 6-of-14 from the floor.
Tenorio’s lone assist of the game was the precursor to the final basket of the match when he dished the ball to Jervy Cruz for an open layup with 15 seconds left in the third overtime.
Ginebra’s point guard added he didn’t expect to play for so long, despite the game being of utmost importance for the Gin Kings.
A loss would’ve forced Ginebra to duke it out against TNT for the no. 8 playoff, but the win propelled the Gin Kings to clinch the fourth seed and would face the Elasto Painters once more in the quarterfinals.
“I knew that I’m going to play longer, probably for 48 minutes, but 56 minutes that I didn’t expect,” said Tenorio. “I don’t want to take this for granted, because I will search for this feeling if I’m out of the PBA or if I’m in the twilight of my career.”