Philippine basketball enthusiasts across the globe rejoiced on Tuesday, September 19, as Barangay Ginebra’s revered captain, LA Tenorio, received the long-awaited news of being declared cancer-free.
This revelation was confirmed by head coach Tim Cone, who shared the uplifting update following a press conference focusing on the Gilas Pilipinas Asian Games roster at the PBA office later that afternoon.
“His last PET (positron emission tomography) scan he took today in Singapore, it’s cancer-free,” Cone enthusiastically informed reporters.
Tenorio, a 38-year-old basketball stalwart, stunned the local sports community on March 21 with the announcement of his Stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis. The ailment initially manifested as persistent groin discomfort, which hindered his performance in the last few PBA conferences with Ginebra.
The seasoned player had last made a significant impact during the Gin Kings’ triumphant run in the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup. However, he gradually receded from the rotation in the ensuing Governors’ Cup, ultimately concluding his legendary 17-year “Iron Man” streak of 744 consecutive games.
In a lighthearted tone, Cone jestingly remarked, “I said the only problem is, LA, you’re not on the [Asian Games] list, so we can’t include you in the national team. And I would have, I would have put him on the Asian Games team. He knows our system better than anybody.”
Reflecting on his arduous journey, Tenorio shared his apprehensions and challenges since learning about his diagnosis. He expressed, “The past 8 months were really challenging for me and my family. 2023 started off well, winning the championship, but closed that conference with a groin injury. Who would have known that was God’s way of knocking on my door giving me a sign to rest and mind my body? Soon, after, I have been nursing a tumor in my colon.”
“Feb 2023 for me, marks one of the hardest periods of my life. From not knowing the extent of cancer I have, to face my wife and children every day knowing I have a life-threatening disease.”
Fast-forwarding to September 19, Tenorio breathed a sigh of relief as tests indicated the efficacy of his treatment, with no traces of cancer remaining.
He continued, “Sept 19, 2023, as I step out of my doctor’s clinic with my wife, and as my nurse pulls out my chemo line plugged into my heart for 6 months, I am writing this message to everyone. For those who were my prayer warriors, for those who showed me so much love and support, know that I am forever grateful to all of you. My scan and last test results show no trace of cancer and that the treatment was effective. I am now in remission. Praise God.”
Numerous celebrities and athletes joined in welcoming LA’s restored health, eagerly anticipating his imminent return to the basketball court.