IT may sound a little bit odd, but the abrupt ending of the season for Barangay Ginebra meant finally a well-deserved rest for battered star guard LA Tenorio.
The 29-year-old spitfire is set to take a month’s off from the game after playing non-stop for more than a year.
While the Kings get back into training just a week after being eliminated in the season-ending PBA Governors Cup, Tenorio said he’ll be resting a little bit longer than his teammates to recharge his body and the nagging hurting right elbow that bothered him for most of the year.
“Bibigyan naman nila (management) ako ng ganung pahinga, mga three to four weeks na break para maging ready na rin ako for next season,” said the cat-quick Ginebra playmaker.
At the same time, the former Ateneo stalwart plans to use the break to bond with pregnant wife Chesca and their one-year-old son Santi.
“Due na rin kasi siya (Chesca) this December so dun na rin kami lalayo. At the same time, babantay na rin sa bata saka spend time lang with family. Kasi matagal tagal din akong wala dahil tuloy-tuloy ang paglalaro ng basketball,” he added.
Asked if he’ll finally take time to go under the knife and repair his elbow, Tenorio was quick to say no.
“Huwag muna. Pupunta pa ako ng Spain,” he said smiling, obviously referring to Gilas Pilipinas’ stint in the Fiba-World Cup slated next year in Spain.
Tenorio’s busy schedule actually began August of last year when he steered Gilas Pilipinas to the William Jones Cup title in Taiwan, where he emerged as the tournament MVP.
The national team then saw action in the 2012 Fiba Asia Cup in Tokyo, Japan, where it finished fourth.
Tenorio only took a few weeks of rest before playing his first conference with Ginebra to start the league’s 38th season after being traded by Alaska prior to the start of the Philippine Cup.
In between, he also suited up for Gilas Pilipinas in the 27th Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship in Manila which saw the national team earn a berth to the Fiba-World Cup after finishing runner-up to champion Iran.
During the Commissioner’s Cup, Tenorio emerged Best Player of the Conference as he led Ginebra to a runner-up finish after being swept by Alaska in the best-of-five Finals.
The cat-quick playmaker was hoping to surpass the showing during the Governors Cup, but the Kings fell to top seed Petron in the quarterfinal playoffs.
Tenorio played with a big heart for the Kings in a 94-101 loss to the Boosters, scoring 20 points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing off four assists, and at one time, even guarded Petron import Elijah Millsap.
The national team mainstay said he had to raise his play several notches higher due to the major transitions within the team prior to the conference -- from having a new coach in Ato Agustin to the acquisition of fellow national player Japeth Aguilar.
In doing so, he had to take charge at times and became the team’s third option on offense behind import Dior Lowhorn and superstar teammate Mark Caguioa, who later suffered an MCL (medial collateral ligament) sprain on his right knee during the second period of the Kings’ quarterfinal game against the Boosters.
“Mahirap din tanggapin, siyempre, nakapanghihinayang pero di talaga kami pinalad,” said Tenorio, whose bid for back-to-back Best Player of the Conference awards is also expected to fizzle out following the ouster of Ginebra.
Tenorio added losing Caguioa when the team needed him most in the quarterfinals was too much to bear as the team lost steam in the end.
“Wala eh, ginawa ko na lahat, offense, play defense, pati import binantayan ko na,” the 29-year-old Ginebra guard lamented.