JAYJAY Helterbrand’s birthday celebration will have to wait as the rejuvenated Ginebra star prefers a double victory - once the Kings win their first PBA championship in eight years.
On Friday night, the Gin Kings pulled of a come-from-behind, 88-86, win over Meralco in Game Four behind the heroics of Helterbrand, who led the team back from the depths of a 16-point deficit by making all four of his shots and scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter.
After the game, the whole barangay of Ginebra fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum serenaded the birthday boy with a song. Helterbrand, in turn, thanked his fans and supporters who stood by him in the twilight of a great career.
“Yes, definitely, this day is really special, everyone sang for me,” said Helterbrand, who turned 40 on Friday. “But that’s not the goal. If we win the championship, it would be a really special, special birthday.”
“But then again, it’s just another game that goes down on the books if you don’t get the championship. It all boils down to winning the whole thing,” he continued.
The former league MVP said his fondest wish is to see an end to Ginebra's eight-year championship drought, by which time he might finally savor a double celebration.
“I might just wait for the championship before I celebrate my birthday," he smiled, "it’ll be a double celebration."