BARANGAY Ginebra star LA Tenorio yesterday announced he is undergoing treatment for Stage 3 colon cancer.

This will keep him away from the game for a while but the PBA’s Iron Man insists he is not retiring yet.

“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. Sadly, there are things beyond one’s control,” Mr. Tenorio said in a statement yesterday.

“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,” he added with strong resolve.

Mr. Tenorio owns the league-record 744 consecutive games dating back to his rookie season in 2006. He even continued the streak despite an appendectomy operation prior to the 2020 Clark bubble.

The veteran playmaker missed his first PBA game last March 1 when Ginebra played Meralco in the elims and hasn’t seen action since.

Reason cited was “minor injury” but an apologetic Mr. Tenorio came clean yesterday and declared his health status to prevent “unnecessary gossip, 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. I have completed my surgery last week and will soon undergo treatment for the next few months,” he said.

Mr. Tenorio thanked well-wishers and humbly asked for “respect for my family to go through this journey privately and discreetly as much as possible.”

“Together with my family and loved ones, you are all my strength, inspiration and what drives me to be the best person I can ever be, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I will see everyone very, very soon,” he said. — Olmin Leyba