THE father of Barangay Ginebra’s Never-Say-Die legacy is appealing to its legion of fans to just hang on and be a little more patient with its most beloved ballclub following another early playoff exit in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Former Senator Robert Jaworski Sr. understands the predicament of diehard Ginebra followers, who had to wait a little longer as the Kings’ extended their long title drought after being swept in two games by Rain or Shine in their best-of-three quarterfinals series.
The league’s most popular team has not won a championship since the 2008 Fiesta Cup.
But the man who epitomized the franchise’s Never-Say-Die spirit is not about to give up on this same team he steered to its first four championships in the league despite having a rag-tag roster.
“Give them a little more leeway,” said Jaworski. “Bago pa lang naman (yung sistema), so may adjustment pa yun.”
The 70-year-old legend believes the Kings have at their disposal two players who he said could be vital pieces in the team’s quest to end its search for a long-overdue crown.
“Sayang may dalawa tayong malaki dun,” he said, obviously referring to giants Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar. “Ang maganda pa, si Aguilar tumatakbo yan at tsaka may shooting.”
But winning takes a lot more than just pure potential, according to the PBA great. It’s also about learning to play as a team.
“Kailangan dito team tayo. Let team spirit from top to bottom prevail,” he pointed out. “Sa tingin ko parang hindi sila nagkakaintindihan.”
“Lahat sila, they should understand their roles.”
In a statement made shortly after the Kings’ campaign ended, coach Tim Cone apologized to Ginebra fans for failing to live up to the team's NSD (never say die) legacy.
“I still feel in the near future that we’ll make them proud. But until then, we need to keep proving that we deserve the Ginebra fans’ support,” said Cone.
Jaworski doesn’t doubt the Kings will eventually enjoy success under the multi-titled Cone. Of course, that’s provided they play with discipline and embrace their roles in the team.
“Everybody must be given the role and then play within those boundaries,” he said.