NOT everything that glitters is gold. Sometimes, it’s just Jerwin Gaco.
The 37-year-old forward added another title to his already overflowing collection of championships after Go for gold claimed the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday.
“Syempre, lucky charm ako eh,” he said with a grin as he won his first ring in the developmental ranks.
Gaco’s journey has been well-documented, and most of the time, history sees him celebrating at the top of the mountain.
From his lone year at La Salle, where the Green Archers claimed the UAAP Season 67 championship (later forfeited), to Harbour Centre in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) where he was a part of seven championship squads, Gaco has always had the Midas’ touch.
That streak continued in 2010 where he was a part of the inaugural ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) champions with the Philippine Patriots, as well as when he made the jump to the pros where he found himself as a member of five title teams for the Purefoods franchise, most notably in the 2013-14 season where the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers achieved the rare Grand Slam.
And now, after four years of waiting, Gaco is a champion anew, this time with the Scratchers.
“Nakumpleto ko na yung collection ko,” he said, mimicking Marvel villain Thanos with an imaginary infinity gauntlet on his left hand. “Meron na ako sa PBA, sa PBL, sa ABL, tapos ngayon D-League. Ang sarap sa feeling kasi first time ko mag-champion sa D-League.”
Now serving as the squad’s elder statesman, Gaco is just glad to share the glory with his younger contemporaries, most of whom will be taking the leap to the PBA later this year.
“Ang mga kasama ko dito, sobrang special. Halos lahat sila, sobrang grabe yung talent. Walang tapon. Kaya sabi ko sa kanila, kailangan naming makuha itong Finals na ito kasi magandang preparation ito sa mga aakyat sa pro,” he said.
As Gaco celebrates another championship, one couldn’t help but wonder if his string of luck could also be stretched to the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), where he currently sees action with Imus Bandera.
But he’s been in the game for so long to know that nothing is impossible. “Kakayanin naman. One game at a time. Maganda naman ang team namin,” he said.
Gaco, though, hopes that this won’t be the last time he’ll savor this sweet championship feeling, saying, “Hangga’t kaya pa, hangga’t di pa sumasakit ang tuhod ko, lalaro pa rin tayo.”