Hot-shooting LA Tenorio hesitant to undergo surgery for elbow injury. Here's why
LA Tenorio mobbed by Ginebra teammates after his buzzer-beating trey. Jerome Ascano

LA Tenorio made one big play and one big shot after another in Barangay Ginebra’s  86-76 come-from-behind win against Meralco for a commanding 2-0 lead in the PBA Governors Cup finals Sunday night.

Yet unknown to many, the veteran guard has been nursing a hurting right elbow even before the start of the season-ending conference.

“Mahirap. Alam mo na kapag tumatanda may mga buto diyan na bigla na lang tumutubo,” he said of the pain from bone spurs that are scheduled to be scraped by doctors come the off-season.

“Kanina tinamaan ni Cliff Hodge, kaya for sure tomorrow (mamamaga siya).”

Despite the injury, Tenorio came through with a clutch performance down the stretch as he teamed up with import Justine Brownlee to bring Ginebra back from a 69-75 deficit midway through the payoff period.

Tenorio gave the Kings the lead for good with 2:44 left after securing the rebound and scoring off a transition play against the pair of Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge, 77-75.

Then he hit the dagger three-pointer from top of the key with the shot clock winding down as the reigning champions made it a six-point game in the final 67 seconds.

He finished with 14 points, including 10 in the final quarter.   

Tenorio said he’s been taking painkillers for the injury just before every game just to be able to play.

“Kaya namang ilaro. Pag na warm-up naman siya nawawala na, once lumamig uli bumabalik,” he said. “So hindi ako puwedeng umupo. Pero inaalagaan naman ako ng mga therapists namin.”

The Ginebra playmaker said he’s scheduled to undergo procedure for the injury once the season is over.

But he's been having second thoughts since he’s been shooting very well despite the hurting elbow.

“Kaya nga ayaw kong ipa-opera kasi nakaka-shoot ako,” he said with a big laugh. “Totoo yun. Yan ang dilemma ko.

“Kaya sinasabi sa akin bakit mo ipapa-opera eh, ang taas ng percentage mo. Kaya ngayon pinag-babayaran ko. Ang sakit e, everytime na tinatamaan.”

Meralco though, faces an even bigger dilemma the rest of the series with Tenorio nursing an injury.

“Kapag tinatamaan lalo akong nakaka-shoot. So bahala na sila  kung tatamaan nila,” he said as if daring the Bolts to do so.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos