AFTER playing in a legends game last week, Jayjay Helterbrand admitted he wished he could have had an opportunity to be coached by Robert Jaworski during this time with Barangay Ginebra in the PBA.
The 42-year-old Helterbrand played last week in the ‘Return of the Rivals’ benefit game where he suited up for the Ginebra team coached by Jaworski.
“It’s an honor to be able to play on the court with all the legends,” said Helterbrand. “The stories I’ve heard in practice and getting a chance to be coached by the Legend himself and to be able to play for a good cause. It was fun.”
Helterbrand said he was overwhelmed by being with the Ginebra legends in the build-up to the game itself against Purefoods.
“I was pretty much in awe, trying to absorb everything. I didn’t really plan to play that hard. I came out there and I want to get that win for them,” he said.
Helterbrand also got to know Jaworski during the training where he got to learn why the former Ginebra coach is a revered figure in Philippine basketball.
“It’s just surreal. When he talks, there is an aura around him. I’m just listening to everything that he is saying. I can really see why he is such a fan favorite. Such a great coach and a great player. I can see the wisdom that he has with the game."
“He gave confidence to his players. I wished I could have played for him when I was younger. It would have been great,” said Helterbrand, who only came in the PBA two years after Jaworski retired in 1998.
Being the youngest in the squad, Helterbrand took it upon himself to take over. He eventually finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Helterbrand though said he was surprised that his teammates can still play.
“I didn’t really plan to play that hard. I came out here and I want to get that win for them,” Helterbrand said.
“They can still play. Na-surprise ako. It was fun. I really, really, really had a good time,” he added.