This is what Gilas’ PUSO is all about.
LA Tenorio has always been a crucial piece in his team’s success. He’s been that way in college with the Ateneo Blue Eagles. He took that with him in the pros, most especially with the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. And he was just as good whenever he suited up for Gilas Pilipinas.
At the moment, the 39-year-old floor general is still on the road to recovery after getting diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer earlier this year. Still, he chooses to remain active and be involved with the national team’s preparation for the upcoming Asian Games. Serving as a member of Tim Cone’s coaching staff, Tenorio continues to be a valuable piece.
“I got LA on the staff. He’s been through all those wars before and he’s a constant talker to all the players,” Cone said in a media scrum on Tuesday, during Gilas’ practice.
Aside from his experience being a veteran point guard for the Philippine team, Tenorio helps the current batch of nationals remain in sync with the coaches.
“He’s kind of the guy between the coaching staff and the players. He’s the bridge that players can go to and talk to. He’s still a player yet he’s still a coach. So, he’s in a real good position to help us,” the newly appointed Gilas mentor explained.
For Tenorio, answering the call to serve the country is a no-brainer.
"In any way that I can help. For me it's a blessing for me, it's a calling for me. Nung sinabihan ako, hindi ako nagdalawang-isip," he said.
Gilas will be in for a fight from the get-go as the Philippines is bracketed with Jordan, Bahrain, and Thailand in the group stage of the Asian Games men’s basketball tournament. Certainly, the Filipino hoopers need all the help they can get going into Hangzhou, China. Thankfully for them, distinguished individuals, such as Tenorio, are ready to provide a helping hand.
(With reports from News5's Martie Bautista)