LA Tenorio, known as the “Ironman” of the PBA, shocked Filipino basketball fans on March 21 when he said in a statement that he has stage 3 colon cancer, which is why he won’t be at the league’s Governor’s Cup.

Barangay Ginebra’s 38-year-old point guard has made history in the PBA for playing 744 consecutive games before opting out of the game against Meralco Bolts last March 1.

“I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. The initial testing three weeks ago led me to instantly miss practices and games. I completed my surgery last week and will soon undergo treatment for the next few months,” Tenorio revealed.

He also said he was sorry for using a small injury to his lower abdomen to hide what was really wrong with him.

“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,” he said.

He also stressed that he is now revealing his condition to avoid “gossip, fake news, and misinterpretations.”

As prayers and well wishes from Barangay Ginebra fans poured in, ‘Tinyente’ took to Twitter to thank the loyal fans who have been with him since the beginning of his career.

“Seventeen straight years playing in the PBA is truly a great blessing for me and my family. I am truly grateful to God for giving me that strength to play 744 straight games in front of millions of Filipinos all over the world,” he tweeted.

“But streaks are bound to end eventually, and sad to say, it started last game. To all PBA fans and, of course, Ginebra fans, thank you sa lahat ng prayers and nice messages ninyo,” he added.

Despite the toughest battle ahead of him, the ‘Tinyente’ assured the Barangay Ginebra fans that his game is far from over.

“I am not retiring yet. Katatapos lang ng Ironman 1. Ironman 2 is still coming,” Tenorio said.

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