BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone is still amazed that LA Tenorio has been able to keep his consecutive games streak inside the PBA bubble.
Tenorio played the 659th straight game of his PBA career on Sunday and it was truly a memorable one as he had 12 points and 10 assists for Barangay Ginebra in their 100-94 overtime win of the Philippine Cup finals opener at the Smart Clark Giga City bubble.
The Ginebra veteran has come a long way after he entered the bubble where he was still fresh from a laparoscopic surgery to remove his appendix.
“He is in playoff mode,” said Cone. “The guy came from surgery literally a week and a half before he came to the bubble and they told us he will be three to four weeks out, minimum. He played 13 days after surgery, and that’s amazing.”
As expected, Tenorio started out slow as a result of coming in late in the bubble and not having enough practice time with the team. Cone remembered one instance where Tenorio came to their team bus late for their game as he had to fix his wounds from the surgery.
“In our sixth or seventh game, he was late getting on the bus to go to the game because they had to clean his wounds. His wounds were oozing. He had to clean his wounds and we had to wait on the bus until that is finished,” Cone said.
But Tenorio and the team stayed patient, keeping himself in shape and in playing form while the conference was ongoing. His fitness level is now on an all-time high and it came at the right time as Ginebra goes for a Philippine Cup crown the team has been searching.
In Game One, Tenorio was a facilitator in every sense of the word in the latter part of the match, dishing out an assist to Arvin Tolentino to score the overtime-sending lay-up. Aljon Mariano and Japeth Aguilar also made baskets for Ginebra in the extra period thanks to Tenorio’s finds.
“He practiced with us, he came, and he played. He’s been battling that all the way through. It’s almost like getting an extra player suddenly because he has suddenly reached his peak form. He is no longer bothered,” Cone said.
“Great guy. They don’t call him ‘Ironman’ for nothing. It’s well-deserved, the reputation he has even more so off the court and what you see that he goes through to get ready. It’s amazing,” he added.
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