MANILA, Philippines -- LA Tenorio kept his Iron Man streak alive -- but just barely -- when he played in Barangay Ginebra's first game of the 2023 PBA Governors' Cup last Sunday.
The veteran point guard logged just two minutes and 34 seconds in the Gin Kings' eventual 116-108 triumph over Rain or Shine at the Araneta Coliseum. He was subbed in with just 38 seconds left in the first quarter, then exited at the 10:04 mark of the second period and did not return.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone told reporters after the game that Tenorio "had a little bit of a tweak of his abdominal muscle" -- the same injury that hampered him in the final three games of the 2022 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals.
"The idea was to play him late in the first, and see how he felt, and then start him in the second quarter and see how long he could go. And then if everything went well, we'd do the same thing in the second half," said Cone.
"He was under a definite minute restriction. We were trying to keep him under 15 minutes, if we could," he added.
But Tenorio asked for a substitution shortly after hitting a three-pointer -- his lone field goal of the game -- with Cone confirming that their team captain felt "a little bit of a twinge in his abdominals."
Sunday's game was Tenorio's 739th consecutive appearance in the PBA, a streak of longevity that started when he was drafted. He still has yet to miss a game as a professional.
Cone said they will be even more careful with Tenorio moving forward, although he is hopeful that the point guard can see more court time in their next game on Wednesday against the NLEX Road Warriors.
"Hopefully he'll be ready to go out and play maybe a little bit more minutes in the next game," eh said. "We didn't wanna go back to zero in terms of his injury. So we got him out as soon as he felt something, and that was the rule."
"As soon as he felt something, he was supposed to come out of the game," he added. "He's a warrior. I don't think anybody else would be even trying to play at this point. But LA wants to play."
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