BOCAUE – Clad in complete LA Tenorio gear from top to bottom, Lando Bago caught the attention of some fans at the Philippine Arena as he lurked outside the dugout after Ginebra’s 89-78 win over Magnolia last Monday.
The get-up alone was enough to get the 38-year-old some attention, but what made him stand out was his striking resemblance to the Ginebra star guard.
He gamely posed for photos with fellow fans, shook hands and exchanged jokes with them. Little did he know that by the time he finally entered the dugout to meet his idols, he was in for a surprise.
Magnolia veteran Marc Pingris was so amused he asked for a photo op with Bago and the real Tenorio.
Talk about a Christmas wish come true.
“Simula po 'nung lumawas ako ng Manila, nung 1999 galing sa Bohol, napadpad po ako sa Cavite, dun ako nagtrabaho, ngayon yung mga katrabaho ko maraming nagsasabi na kahawig ko daw po si LA. Kaya lalo po akong nagpupursigi na sumuporta sa team ng Barangay Ginebra,” Bago told SPIN.ph.
“Masaya, malaking karangalan. Fulfillment talaga, maipagmamalaki ko na nakadaupang palad ko ang aking idolo at ang sikat ngayon sa liga na back-to-back champion at MVP,” he added.
Though this was not the first time he attended a live game, as he’s watched the final three games of the PBA Governors Cup Finals in the same venue last season, Bago shared that this experience was more special as he was finally given the chance to enter the dugout.
For the factory worker based in Sta. Maria, Bulacan, it helps being prepared this time around.
“Nung finals tatlong beses ako nanoood, pero hindi ako nagkaroon ng pagkakataon lumapit. First time po akong nakapasok sa dugout ng mga players ng Ginebra na aking idolo na team. Ngayon nakasama ko na si idol LA Tenorio,” he said.
“Nung finals po di ako naka-short. Naka-red ako, ito yung champion jersey e. Nung isang lingo lang bumili ako ng short para complete uniform, naka-jersey ako, naka-short, at naka-sapatos,” he added.
While the meet-up made Bago’s day, Tenorio was similarly thrilled.
“Napakaswerte ko kasi kamukha ko siya," he said with a smile. "Marami naman ganyan e, meron kay Mark, kay JJ, para sa amin, it’s flattering kasi di ba for them to do that, for them to show na di ba yung suporta, ginagawa nila for us, for me it’s a good thing."
“Siyempre papasalamat ako. Hindi lang naman isa yan e, yung iba lang nahihiya lumapit. Ito lang talaga makapal ang mukha. Meron din akong mga artistang kamukha, pero di lang lumalabas,” he added laughing.