By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

Barangay Ginebra’s point guard LA Tenorio (Courtesy of PBA Images)

MANILA – Lewis Alfred “LA” Tenorio revealed on Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.

The Ginebra point guard admitted that his battle with cancer is the real reason why he had to sit out the rest of the PBA Governors’ Cup after the league’s “Iron Man” streak that lasted for 744 games since he turned pro, apologizing to everyone for keeping his real health situation a secret.

“I would like to issue a statement about my health status by firstly apologizing to my teammates, some coaches, the PBA, the fans, the media and even some friends. As most of you are aware I have been nursing a minor injury since the Finals last January. I used that as the reason for my sudden absence. My sincerest apologies to all. With my profession in sports tied in health and entertainment, it will be very difficult to keep the real reason a secret any longer and will only lead to unnecessary gossips, fake news and misinterpretations. I was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. The initial testing three weeks ago led me to instantly miss practices and games,” Tenorio said in a statement.

The “minor injury” pertains to an apparent groin injury he suffered during the Gin Kings’ Commissioner’s Cup Finals battle against the Bay Area Dragons.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone later said when Tenorio decided to take a break from playing that he aggravated it, defining it as sports hernia, only for the point guard to finally come clean.

Tenorio, however, said he has already gone surgery and is now about to start getting further treatment.

“I have completed my surgery last week and will soon undergo treatment for the next few months,” he added.

The 38-year-old playmaker, though, reiterated that he is still not calling it a career, and he hopes that he can still make a return to the PBA very soon.

“I have given not only 17 full years to the PBA, but have dedicated my whole life to basketball. I have committed my body and health for the love of the game. It has been my passion and love,” he said.

“Sadly, there are things beyond one’s control. But with my faith, I am lifting everything to God now and I believe there is a higher purpose as I go through this part of my life. I am not yet retiring from the game I love, and with the help of the best doctors in the Philippines and Singapore, I believe I can touch a basketball once more and return stronger,” Tenorio further said. “I will see everyone very, very soon.” (PNA)