|A file photo of LA Tenorio.
MANILA, Philippines – Smart Gilas-Pilipinas hero LA Tenorio has mixed emotions about parting ways with the Alaska Aces.
Tenorio will be suiting up for the Ginebra San Miguel franchise in the next Philippine basketball Association (PBA) season after he was released by the Aces in a 6-player trade.
“I don't know what to say,” Tenorio said in an interview with ANC’s Boyet Sison. “Alaska has been my family, close to my heart.
“Since I started with Alaska, they have been very supportive sa akin talaga.”
The former Ateneo standout said he didn’t have a clue about the trade when he flew to Taiwan for the William Jones Cup.
Tenorio played an important role in Gilas' title win in the Cup, dishing out an exceptional performances in games against Chinese Taipei and the US.
He ended up winning the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.
“Actually, before I left for the Jones Cup, ok naman. I didn't hear anything about the trade.... [pero] nangyari,” said Tenorio.
There were reports that the 5’8" point guard and Alaska were at odds, including not seeing eye-to-eye over Tenorio’s decision to play for the National team.
Alaska reportedly wanted the him to concentrate on their preparations for the upcoming PBA season.
Alaska owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu denied that the Jones Cup stint was the reason why they traded Tenorio.
"We lent three of our key players to the Jones Cup tournament because we knew it was a big tournament and we are proud of the entire team's accomplishment,” Uytengsu said in a statement.
Aside from Tenorio, other Aces who boosted the National team were Sonny Thoss and Mac Baracael.
But Uytengsu pointed out that other PBA clubs should also contribute more in fielding players for the Smart Gilas Team.
“It’s also time that other companies step up their support of the national team as we have been doing so since the mid-90s," said Uytengsu.
San Miguel fan
Tenorio said he didn’t expect that he would become part of the Gin Kings one day.
He said he has always idolized the San Miguel Beermen since he was a kid, and that joining a San Miguel team has partly fulfilled his dream.
“I've always been a San Miguel fan as a kid, but [Ginebra's] still a San Miguel Team. I didn't expect in my career that I'll be playing for Ginebra. Now I'm excited and looking forward to play with the Ginebra family,” said Tenorio.
San Miguel (currently named Petron) is a sister company of Ginebra San Miguel.
Tenorio added that he hopes Ginebra management will allow him to join the National team.
“Kasi hindi pa kami nagu-usap ng management ng Ginebra.”
Tenorio had been with Alaska since 2008, when the Aces acquired him and Larry Fonacier from the San Miguel Beermen in exchange for Mike Cortez and Ken Bono.