FOR more than a decade now, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel has been synonymous to the JayJay Helterbrand-Mark Caguioa partnership.
But 13 years after, the other half of the popular 'Fast and the Furious' tandem admitted the passing of the torch for the league's most popular team is already at hand.
“Yeah, I can feel it (changing of the guards at Ginebra) already. But it’s a good thing coz me and Mark (Caguioa) are now towards the end of our careers,” said the 37-year-old Helterbrand.
The best thing is, Helterbrand feels Ginebra's veterans will be leaving the team in good hands.
“The management really did a good job of getting talented players, the new pieces that are coming up. Ginebra is really in good hands after we’re done,” added the 2009 league Most Valuable Player.
Helterbrand gave credit to the team’s new kids on the block as the reason why the league’s most popular team is on top of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup after finishing as the No. 1 team heading into the playoffs.
“I am very happy for them (younger teammates). And the management is really doing a good job. Ginebra is going towards the right way,” added Helterbrand, who owns 'The Good News' shirt brand.
Asked who he thinks is going to be the anointed ‘next Kings’ of the team, Helterbrand mentioned LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, rookie Gregory Slaughter, Chris Ellis, and Jay-R Reyes as the ones that come to mind.
“I don’t really pick particular persons. But I’d like to believe it’s a group of individuals,” he said while getting seconded by Slaughter who was within hearing distance.
“I think it’s the whole team, our whole team plays a lot together. It’s not just the ‘Fast and the Furious,' it’s not the ‘Twin Towers.' I think, Ginebra plays best as Ginebra,” said the eloquent rookie big man.
Helterbrand said he feels the passing of the baton is just around the corner.
“They’re about to receive it, there’ll be the passing of the torch, definitely. The team is totally in the right direction. It’s a good thing,” he said.