LA Tenorio said he won’t take it personally if ever Chot Reyes decides not to make him a part of the Gilas Pilipinas roster for the Fiba World Cup in Spain or the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, saying he trusts the coach to make the best decisions for the team.
The Ginebra star guard said every member of the Gilas pool is aware that the country’s honor comes before personal pride in the two major international competitions.
“Siyempre gusto naming maglaro, but for the many years I’ve played under coach Chot, I don’t have to prove something or magpasikat ng todo para ma-lineup ako. It’s his (Reyes) decision,” Tenorio said during Tuesday night’s sendoff party for the entire Gilas team at Max's Restaurant in Quezon City.
“Kung ano man 'yun kay coach Chot, maybe sa part namin, magiging di fair. Pero sa part niya, baka may makikita siya para sa bansa, eh we’re playing for our country and not for our mother teams,” he added.
Tenorio understands everyone who worked hard in last year’s silver medal finish during the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championships are all hopeful of playing in the Spain showpiece.
But Tenorio said he totally understands why Reyes opened the pool to several new faces such as NLEX stars Kevin Alas and Garvo Lanete, Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee and Meralco’s Jared Dillinger, who are all able ball handlers and outside gunners.
“As much as possible (gusto sana namin) 'yung complete (roster from last year’s Fiba-Asia to play in the World Cup), but you’ll never know, kasi may mga injuries, though so far wala pa naman,” explained Tenorio, who turned 30 on Wednesday.
The 5-foot-9 playmaker averaged 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in last year’s Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship in Manila. Prior to that, the former Ateneo star was named MVP during the national team's conquest of the Jones Cup in Taipei in 2012.
Gilas is set to leave early Thursday morning for Wuhan, China to compete in the week-long Fiba-Asia Cup.