GILAS Pilipinas has lost one major player as it scrambles to come up with a final pool of players that will comprise its roster for the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship two months from now.
Barangay Ginebra guard LA Tenorio said he has begged off from joining the national squad, citing fatigue factor and his rather disappointing playing season with the Kings as major factors for his decision.
“Pag sinabing national team, alam ko sakripisyo 'yan. Matagal na rin naman akong naglalaro (sa national team),” Tenorio, starting point guard of the national team in the 2013 Fiba Asia championships and the Fiba World Cup in Spain last year, said in an interview by Dennis Principe in the popular program Sports Chat aired over DZSR Sports Radio 918.
"Pero kung tingin ko hindi na ako magiging effective, bakit ko naman ipipilit pa ang sarili ko. Magsa-sacrifice naman ang buong team di ba?" the former Jones Cup MVP added.
Tenorio’s decision comes at a time when coach Tab Baldwin is preparing to gather players who will comprise his national pool roster for the September 23 to October 3 event that serves as qualifier to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Spin.ph sources said Tenorio was part of the 26-man wishlist of Baldwin.
Tenorio added he has also informed Baldwin about his decision.
The veteran point guard has been one of four players reportedly given the green light by San Miguel management to play for Gilas along with back-to-back PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, and Marc Pingris.
Fajardo however, hinted about skipping suiting up for the national squad owing to an injury, while Pingris is set to leave for France for a personal commitment.
Tenorio believes his incessant stint with Gilas since 2012 had taken its toll on him, so much so that it also affected the way he played with Ginebra in the recently concluded 40th season of the pro league.
“One factor that came out is `yung dire-diretso `yung paglalaro ko. Yung fatigue factor, hindi na rin naman ako bumabata,” said the 31-year-old Tenorio during the same interview.
Tenorio has not had a major break during the off season since being named as part of Gilas in 2012 when it won the Jones Cup. A year later, he saw action for the team in the Fiba-Asia tilt held here in Manila, and then went on to suit up in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
At the same time, Tenorio also stressed he won’t be fair to Ginebra if he plays for Gilas and then see action for the Kings not 100 percent prepare for the new season.
“Pag bumalik naman ako sa Ginebra, October na, start na ng season. Baka hindi na rin naman ako magin effective sa team, so in the end, sila (Kings) naman ang masa-sacrifice,” the veteran point guard out of Ateneo added.