Sunday, September 11, 2011

LA Tenorio and The Alaska Aces After Tim Cone Era in the PBA

MANILA, Philippines—Alaska Aces playmaker LA Tenorio says he owes his flourishing PBA career to his now ex-coach Tim Cone.

“The first time we talked when I got traded, he promised to me that I would be the No. 1 point guard of Alaska,” Tenorio recalled. “And he kept his promise.”

As a college superstar with Ateneo in the UAAP, it didn’t seem that Tenorio would need such an assurance.

But the playmaker took the long route to PBA stardom.

Tabbed as the fourth overall pick in 2006 by San Miguel, Tenorio struggled in his first couple of years before getting traded to the Aces and finally getting his break.

And before anyone could notice, Tenorio emerged as one of the best point guards not only on his team but in the league.

“He (Cone) molded me into one of the league’s stars,” Tenorio added.

Now, Tenorio has to deal with the fact that the guy he owes his career to is gone. Worse, he could even end up coaching another team.

Cone and Alaska officially parted ways recently. And after announcing the end of a long-term and decorated partnership, Cone gathered his players for one last time. He had something to say to each of them.

Tenorio was the last one he talked to. Cone gave him a hug and said, “You’re a superstar.”

“I was shocked, first thing we (the players) thought was: What would happen to Alaska?” shared Tenorio.

The five-foot-eight point guard is getting his answer nowadays. The team has started practicing under coach Joel Banal and Tenorio said the transition was surprisingly easy.

“With coach Joel, it’s practically the same system. He’s been coach Tim’s assistant for many years so adjusting is not hard for us,” Tenorio said. “We plan to get the (All-Filipino) crown. We want to show that we can do it, for coach Joel.”

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