WHILE most of his teammates took vacations overseas, Jayjay Helterbrand stayed put and never stopped working, keeping his body in the best of shape.
Now he can't wait to get wait to get back together with the rest of the Barangay Ginebra team.
“My conditioning is okay now. I am doing alright. I needed to start early so I can keep up with the young cats,” said the former PBA MVP, who looked every inch the Helterbrand of old during Ginebra's run to the last Commissioner's Cup Finals.
Ginebra players report back to practice on July 15, and Helterbrand should be very close to game shape by the time teammates return one by one to prepare for another run at a championship after falling short in the Finals against Alaska.
Import Dior Lowhorn is set to arrive in the country on July 13 and should be ready to take part in the first day of practice after recovering from a knee injury that cut short his stint with the Saigon Heat in the last Asean Basketball League season.
The former University of San Francisco wingman is in fact coming off a stint with a video game company wherein he was asked to simulate some NBA players for a soon-to-be-released game.
Fil-American guard Chris Ellis is already back in town and has already been doing conditioning drills while Mark Caguioa and Rudy Hatfield are expected to return next week from short vacations in the US.
“Coach Al (Chua) told us all to be here by the fifteenth. No excuses," said Helterbrand.
Two players, LA Tenorio and newly acquired Japeth Aguilar, won't be able to rejoin Ginebra's buildup until after their stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba-Asia Men's Championship from August 1 to 11. Both are shoo-ins for Chot Reyes' final 12 for the world championship qualifier in Manila.