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For ‘Iron Man’ Tenorio, streak of 744 games is like an MVP award

LA Tenorio, Philippine Basketball Association’s Modern Day Iron Man, wasn’t at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night, ending the string of consecutive games that stopped at 744.

A member of Barangay Ginebra’s medical team confirmed to Daily Tribune that the veteran guard wasn’t in the game as he underwent check-up.

Tenorio has been complaining about the nagging injury in between his groin and abdomen area. He’s been playing in pain as early as last conference’s championship series against visiting Bay Area, which the Gin Kings defeated in seven games.

With Tenorio’s streak snapped, the longest active streak in the PBA now belongs to Mark Barroca of Magnolia, who has consecutive games of 538.

But for Tenorio, playing non-stop games for 744 outings was indeed a legacy he could share with his family.

He believes that the feat can be considered his own Most Valuable Player award.

“In my opinion, playing non-stop for 744 straight games is more difficult than winning an MVP,” he added. “So with this feat, it’s like winning an MVP.”

Injuries had been the common enemy of players, but for many years, Tenorio was able to defy aches and pains from the time he started playing in 2006 until Wednesday’s game against Meralco where he missed a game for the first time throughout his PBA career.

Aside from Tenorio, only Arwind Santos and Kelly Williams are the only two remaining active players who belong to the Class of 2006, but both MVP winners had missed games in their respective careers.

Santos, the 2013 MVP, just returned recently from a knee injury while Williams, winner of the MVP plum in 2008, had been sidelined either by injuries or sickness for several years in his career.

But Tenorio had defied major injuries and his longevity is somewhat hard to match.

On 18 March 2019, Tenorio surpassed the record of four-time MVP and now league Hall of Famer Alvin Patrimonio, whose record stood the test of time and held on by “The Captain” for many years.

Tenorio’s streak of games will be a challenge for those in pursuit, the closest one is Barroca, also a tough point guard, who had gone on to play with injuries over the past few years.

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