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    LA Tenorio would've gone to UST - had coach Aric recruited him

    Jul 25, 2020
    PHOTO: Screenshot from Studio 23 coverage

    LA Tenorio and Cyrus Baguio shared the Finals MVP honors when Alaska won the 2010 PBA Fiesta Conference.

    But almost a full decade back, the two would have been teammates had Tenorio went to University of Santo Tomas.

    The Ginebra court general told 2OT that he would have wanted to go to España for his collegiate career.

    That is had legendary Growling Tigers head coach Aric del Rosario tried to get him.

    "Honestly, kung ni-recruit ako ng UST noon, malamang nasa UST ako," he said.

    Tenorio was coming off a solid high school career with San Beda, where he helped the Ato Badolato-coached Red Cubs capture the NCAA juniors crown in Season 75 in 1999 when he was in his third year.

    When he graduated, schools were intent in recruiting him -- well, except for Del Rosario and UST.

    "Alam nilang galing kang San Beda, alam niya na maayos kang player," he said. "Lahat ng schools, kinausap din talaga ako. Ang isa lang ang hindi talagang naka-recruit sa akin na gusto ko pang puntahan is UST."

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    Saddened as Tenorio was, he understood why.

    "Hindi sila nangangailangan kasi buo sila eh," he said. "Yun yung time na UST-La Salle yan eh. Rivalry parati. Sila ang napapanood ko."

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    Baguio was leading the Growling Tigers then, but skipped UAAP Season 64 in 2001 due to academic deficiencies.

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    That was Tenorio's rookie season and had he went to UST, he would have teamed up with the likes of Alwin Espiritu and Derrick Hubalde while also sharing minutes with guards Jinino Manansala, Don Villamin, and Edsel del Rosario. His senior year would've seen him carry the mantle for the Growling Tigers, leading the backcourt which had Japs Cuan and Jun Cortez.

    Baguio did came back the following season and took UST to the Final Four, but eventually bowed to La Salle. He soon declared for the 2003 PBA Draft, where he was taken in the second round.

    Playing in Espana would've been a great experience for Tenorio, he acknowledged, but of course, "Di naman ako ni-recruit ni coach Aric."

    It still worked out for the 5-foot-9 guard, though, as he made immediate impact for Ateneo in his rookie year as the Blue Eagles reached the Finals and finished bridesmaid to the Green Archers.

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    Tenorio did win a championship the following year as he helped Ateneo capture the UAAP Season 65 crown in 2002 at the expense of La Salle.

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      He was also named in the league's Mythical Team in his last two seasons before heading to the PBA.

      "Malaking blessing din na napunta ako sa Ateneo," he said.

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      Years later, Tenorio and Baguio did team up for two seasons with the Aces until the former was shipped to Ginebra in a complex five-team deal in 2012.

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      PHOTO: Screenshot from Studio 23 coverage
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