JAYJAY Helterbrand got a good ribbing from Barangay Ginebra teammate Joe Devance following a rare appearance on court on Wednesday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Devance quietly sneaked up and listened in as Helterbrand was having a chat with Spin.ph outside the Ginebra dugout moments after the Kings’ 104-86 rout of Mahindra at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City..
Asked if he has any questions for his veteran teammate, the 6-foot-7 Fil-Am gave out a sheepish smile and obliged.
“Jay, were you tired today at all?" asked Devance, drawing laughter from Helterbrand himself.
On second thoughts, Helterbrand said he himself was surprised to play for nine minutes in the Kings’ third straight win in the mid-season tournament, which saw him issue an assist and complete two steals.
It was just the second time in five games the former league MVP saw action for the Kings in the import-laden conference.
“Nabigla ako ng kaunti,” he said smiling. “But I’m always gonna be ready and prepare even if he (coach Tim cone) doesn’t use me one game or two games. You never know when he’s gonna put you in.”
For someone who used to be a pillar of Ginebra along with longtime backcourt partner Mark Caguioa, Helterbrand admitted having a hard time adjusting to his new role coming off the bench.
Initially hesitant, Helterbrand later admitted he’s kind of frustrated just watching the game unfold from the bench.
“It can be, yeah,” said the 39-year-old combo guard. “Because I really wanna play and I know I can still contribute. I’m really competitive and I do wanna play.”
But that doesn’t mean he has any beef with Cone, who Helterbrand said he respects very much.
“He’s one of the greatest coaches of all time and he knows what he’s doing. I’m just gonna be here. As I’ve said, when I’m told, I’ll go out there and try to play,” he stressed.
Eventually, Helterbrand said he’ll get to learn to accept his new role with the only team he ever played for in Asia’s first ever play for pay league - especially with the Kings finally going on a three-win roll.
“It takes getting used to it. I just stay positive,” he said.