LA Tenorio now cancer-free says Tim Cone

LA Tenorio could make a basketball-playing return this upcoming PBA season. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Amid all the tension surrounding Gilas Pilipinas ahead of the Asian Games, the team got major good news as assistant coach LA Tenorio is now clinically cancer-free.

Interim coach Tim Cone said on Tuesday that Tenorio is now clear from any cancer danger.

"His last PET (positron emission tomography) scan he took today in Singapore is cancer-free, so he is finished with all of his chemotherapy sessions. He's been declared cancer-free, and they told him in three or four days, he can return to practice," Cone said, also implying that the Ginebra guard can also make a playing return in time for the start of the PBA season on Nov. 5.

The 39-year-old Tenorio himself revealed last March that he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which forced him to miss the remainder of the previous season, ending the PBA's current Iron Man streak of 744 games where he played.

Tenorio's court generalship was dearly missed in the PBA Governors' Cup finals as the Gin Kings fell to the TNT Tropang Giga.

Cone designated him to be part of Gilas' coaching staff for the Asian Games, helping him run the plays with only a short time to prepare for the event.

Cone, though, admitted that he could have called up Tenorio to be part of the Final 12 as a player had he been cleared much sooner.

"I told him, 'The only problem is, LA, you're not on the list, so we can't include you in the national team.' And we would have. I would have put him on the Asian Games team if he had been on the list because he knows our system better than anybody, and he would have been great," Cone further said.

He then said Tenorio is expected to return to the Philippines later Tuesday and will immediately rejoin the Gilas training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba City on Wednesday.

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