‘Never say die’: Basketball community rally behind LA Tenorio amid cancer bout

March 21, 2023 - 4:59 PM
Photo shows Ginebra San Miguel player LA Tenorio (PBA/Website)

“Never say die!”

This was the collective chant of the Filipino basketball community after LA Tenorio revealed that he has been diagnosed with stage three colon cancer.

The Barangay Ginebra star broke this news on Tuesday afternoon. 

He first apologized to the public as he used his “minor injury” as a reason for his sudden absence.

“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 gossip, fake news & misinterpretations,” LA said. 

“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 continued. 

“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,” LA said. 

“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,” he continued.  

The eight-time PBA champion also assured the public that he is not yet retiring from professional basketball. 

“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 said. 

LA concluded his statement by expressing his gratitude to his fans and the Ginebra management. 

The basketball player also asked the public to respect his family’s privacy. 

After LA broke the news about his health condition, his name trended on local Twitter as the basketball community expressed their hope for PBA’s “Iron Man’s” recovery. 

“Get well soon Tinyente #NeverSayDie,” a Twitter user said

“Isang NEVER SAY DIE at ONE BIG FIGHT para sa ating Tinyente 

@LA_Tenorio Naiiyak ako,” an online user wrote

“Praying for you LA Tenorio. Literal na Never Say Die!! #NSD [crying and salute emojis],” a social media user tweeted

“He’s not the “Gineral” and the PBA Ironman for nothing. He’ll get through this. One big fight, Tinyente. Never say die. Ever,” a social media user said

“That was really shocking news and painful to hear. Get well soon brother @LA_Tenorio rooting for you! Prayers,” basketball coach and analyst Charles Tiu said.  

“Laban Lang Tinyente! Prayers up for your recovery @LA_Tenorio [three praying emojis],” Sen. Sonny Angara tweeted

“Praying for you brother!! I know you got this!! You’re a warrior bro! We are all in your corner!!” San Miguel veteran Chris Ross said

“Prayers up for @LA_Tenorio and your family! You’re the Iron Man for a reason [three praying emojis],” PBA player Matt Ganuelas-Rosser said

Early this month, LA ended his 744 consecutive game streak with a “groin injury.” 

RELATED: ‘Bound to end’: LA Tenorio pens letter after streak ends at 744 games