INAUGURAL Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) champion Batangas has expressed interest in signing former PBA MVP JayJay Helterbrand as it bids for back-to-back titles in the fledgling regional league.
Team manager Dondon Dimacuha disclosed the franchise is eyeing the retired 41-year-old guard, who it believes is a perfect fit for the Athletics especially after previously suiting up for the Batangas Blades in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) before taking his act to the PBA.
Helterbrand, who was MVP in the PBA in 2009, retired following the PBA’s 42nd season after spending his entire PBA career playing for Barangay Ginebra.
The former Ginebra guard is still fit and active in the legends circuit. He recently suited up for the Malolos Agilas in the Republica Cup in the Bulacan capital.
Batangas-Tanduay Athletics owner Bong Tan later confirmed the team is taking into consideration the recruitment of Helterbrand.
“We’ll see,” said Tan Tuesday night as he personally graced the victory party tendered for the Athletics at the Century Park Hotel. “Hindi pa kami nag-uusap (tungkol dun). So we’ll see.”
Dimacuha admitted the Athletics still have remaining budget to accommodate a player of Helterbrand’s caliber.
“Ang suggestion ko, dahil meron pa silang budget ay kumuha tayo ulit ng ex-PBA player,”said Dimacuha, former mayor of Batangas City.
“Ang nakikita ko sana si Helterbrand kasi retired na siya,” he added. “Baka sakaling puwede siya sa amin.”
Other than the available funds, the Athletics can accommodate Helterbrand since two players from their champion team in Mark Olayon and Bong Quinto, respectively, won’t be available for the coming second conference since they are bound to return to their respective college schools.