'FOR MY LOVE OF THE GAME' | LA Tenorio gets set for basketball return after winning colon cancer battle

Now in remission from colon cancer, a new mission begins for LA Tenorio. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN--LA Tenorio confirmed on Wednesday that he is now clinically cancer-free following his battle against colon cancer that lasted for six months.

The Ginebra guard and Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach shared the good news through an Instagram post.

"My scan and last test results show no trace of cancer and that the treatment was effective. I am now in remission. Praise God!" Tenorio said.

He had to travel back and forth to Singapore to undergo his colon cancer treatment, and after a half-year, he won the battle against "the big C" and is now gearing up for a new battle: the new PBA season starting on Nov. 5.

"Now, I am returning to basketball for my love of the game, this time with a higher purpose not as the old LA but hopefully with the new and better version of myself," said the 39-year-old Tenorio.

Meanwhile, while he admitted last March that he kept his battle against colon cancer a secret, Tenorio clarified on Wednesday that he really suffered a sports hernia during last season's PBA Commissioner's Cup finals and it was not used to cover up his real health status.

"[The year] 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," Tenorio further said.

He still got to play at the start of the Gin Kings' campaign in the Governors' Cup, but on March 1, after playing the first 744 games of his professional career, which now stands as the PBA's "Iron Man" record, Tenorio finally missed a game when he stayed at home during their game against the Meralco Bolts.

Ginebra head coach and now Gilas interim tactician Tim Cone said back then that Tenorio would sit out the rest of the conference to undergo groin surgery.

However, 20 days later, he revealed his battle with Stage 3 colon cancer.

The Gin Kings felt the absence of Tenorio after losing the Governors' Cup finals to the TNT Tropang Giga, but his redemption arc is about to begin next season.

"I can't wait to touch a basketball once again," Tenorio further said.

He wrote his statement just as he returned to the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba City to rejoin the Gilas coaching staff ahead of the Asian Games.

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