By Jonas Terrado
LA Tenorio is set to make history as the PBA’s newest “Iron Man” as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel faces Magnolia in a crucial meeting in the Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tenorio will make his 597th consecutive game in the 6:45 p.m. contest which will put him ahead of Purefoods legend Alvin Patrimonio in the record books.
Patrimonio is also going to have an opportunity to give Tenorio the symbolic passing of the torch as he will be on hand to serve his duty as Magnolia’s team manager.
The veteran guard has never missed a game during a 13-year career that also saw him don the uniforms of San Miguel Beer and Alaska.
History aside, the two Manila Clasico rivals need a crucial win to boost their quarterfinal bids.
Ginebra sits in fifth place with a 4-3 record while Magnolia is behind in sixth spot at 3-4.
Both teams enter the match in good spirits with Ginebra rallying from a 10-point deficit to beat Phoenix Pulse, 100-97, the previous Sunday.
Magnolia, on the other hand, has won two straight and three of the last four after a 0-3 start.
Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter and Scottie Thompson are expected by coach Tim Cone to once again step up for the Kings in front of an expected big crowd at the Big Dome.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero is banking on Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon to continue their recent surge in production.
Meanwhile, NLEX and Blackwater slug it out for an all-important victory in the opener set at 4:30 p.m.
The Road Warriors (3-5) and Elite (2-7) are outside of the top eight, thus the need to carve out a win to stay in the hunt.
NLEX beat Alaska, 91-70, last Wednesday while Blackwater was crushed 127-89 by TNT KaTropa last March 9.