HAVING experienced playing alongside two Ginebra Twin Towers of different eras, JayJay Helterbrand can easily spot the difference.
After getting the chance to play with former Ginebra frontcourt towers Edward Joseph Feihl and Marlou Aquino in Legends games, Helterbrand couldn't help but compare the duo with contemporaries Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter.
The more he compares, the more he notices that Aguilar and Slaughter – and the other present-day big men in the PBA for that matter – need something both Aquino and Feihl had in bountiful supply back in the day.
“These guys [Aquino and Feihl] know how to bang and they have 'yung mga kaunting gulang,” said Helterbrand with a laugh. “And I enjoy seeing that.”
“It’s different for me. They really know the game.”
Of course, that’s not taking anything away from Aguilar and Slaughter, with whom Helterbrand won a pair of championships with Barangay Ginebra before retiring at the end of the 2017 PBA season.
“Greg and Japeth are more athletic for sure, especially Japeth. They’re high flyers,” he said of his former teammates.
But it’s different what the 6-foot-9 Aquino and the 7-foot Feihl bring to the table, he added.
“On the defensive end, they’re really, really good,” said Helterbrand, a recent PBA Philippine Cup visitor where he promoted the Tapang ng Tatluhan Ginebra San Miguel 3x3 Basketball.
“Actually I once told Marlou I wish I could have played with you in my prime,” said Helterbrand of the 1996 Rookie of the Year, who he said is still in shape and still have some of his moves.
“Kaya mo pa idol,” he recalled telling Aquino, now 46.
He also wishes to see Aquino and Feihl giving something back to the game they love.
“I wish they would be able to do big man clinics,” he said. “I think it would really help our bigs here in the Philippines and help out big men in the future.”