PIDO Jarencio admitted still getting goose bumps whenever he hears Ginebra’s famous chant even now that he’s on the opposite side of the fence.
The GlobalPort coach relived the experience again a week ago when the Batang Pier clashed with the Kings in a knockout battle for a berth in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals and a shot at top seed Alaska Aces.
The former Ginebra stalwart had to endure the agony of playing before a mostly partisan crowd of 14,000 at the Mall of Asia Arena chanting 'Ginebra! Ginebra! Ginebra!' as the Kings mounted one rally after the other, which fell short in the end, as the Batang Pier prevailed, 84-83, following a wild and wooly finish.
Although relieved his team was able to survive the pressure of beating the league’s crowd darlings to win GlobalPort’s first ever do-or-die game after 10 tries, Jarencio bared it certainly brought back memories of the good, old days for him.
“Oo nama, memories 'yun,” said the 51-year-old Jarencio, a key Ginebra player during the Robert Jaworkis era at a time when the team became famous for its 'Never Say Die' spirit.
It was with the La Tondena franchise that Jarencio experienced a rebirth in his pro career, playing under Jaworski from 1992 to 1998, a stretch that saw win a title with the team in the 1997 Commissioner’s Cup.
In the many times he played Ginebra since becoming head coach of Globalport, Jarencio said he already became used to hearing the jeers against him and his team.
“Sanay na ako. Ok na ako doon,” he added. “It’s just that andito na ako sa opposite side. Andito na ako sa GlobalPort and andun sa kabila yung Ginebra.”
On that same night, it was the Batang Pier who played with a never-say-die attitude.