By Jonas Terrado
Nobody knows when his consecutive games record will end but new PBA Iron Man LA Tenorio is rooting for a worthy player to succeed his throne.
Tenorio formally etched his name in the PBA record books on Sunday when he played his 597th consecutive game in Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s hard-fought 97-93 win over Magnolia at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Ginebra floor general erased the old mark of 596 previously held by Alvin Patrimonio, who was on hand to personally congratulate Tenorio’s record feat.
Patrimonio, on the losing end of the thrilling Manila Clasico duel as Magnolia’s team manager, sees Tenorio holding the record for a long time.
Tenorio, however, wouldn’t mind seeing someone eventually break his record.
“Gusto ko may maka-break ng record ko,” said Tenorio. “I mean, that shows na may mga players na tumitingala sa akin and trying their best to take care of their bodies so sana, sana may maka-break.
“Ayoko din naman na maging selfish ako na ipagdadasal mo na sana walang makabreak na magkasakit o magka-injure,” added Tenorio.
The closest to possibly succeed Tenorio is Magnolia guard Mark Barroca.
Like Tenorio, Barroca has never missed a game since his PBA debut in 2011. Sunday’s match against Ginebra was his 395th straight match.
Tenorio sees Barroca as a possible successor, though the Zamboanga native may have to stay durable as he can in order to catch up, especially in an era where PBA seasons are almost year-round.
Halftime of the Manila Clasico contest saw Tenorio being recognized for his achievement. He was at center court to meet Patrimonio before the two exchanged salutes in a symbolic passing of the torch.
“Dapat di na siya Tenyente, dapat Captain na siya,” joked Patrimonio.