WHEN San Miguel big boss Ramon Ang was asked about his favorite basketball player, he chose someone who has already retired but is very much a revered figure in the country.
“Pumili ako ng retired na para walang magalit sa akin,” Ang said in jest during a recent interview with Summit Media editors and reporters.
His pick? Robert Jaworski.
Known as the Living Legend, Jaworski played for 14 of his 23 years in the PBA with Barangay Ginebra, one of the three franchises that the San Miguel Corporation owns. During the early days of the ballclub, Ginebra was able to carve out its personality in the league as the ‘Never-Say-Die’ team.
That culture rubbed off even when San Miguel was able to acquire the Ginebra brand from the Palanca family during the 1980s to become the most popular team in the PBA until today.
Ang said the popular Jaworski is his favorite because of his lengthy career in the PBA that also saw him become the player-coach of the Gin Kings before retiring in 1997 when he was 51 years old.
That charisma even won Jaworski a seat in the Senate from 1998 to 2004 after his playing career was over.
“Si Jaworski is the legend. Nobody has ever matched him,” said Ang, referring to the longevity of Jaworski on the playing court.
During his time as player-coach in the PBA, Jaworski won four crowns for the franchise, the winningest coach in terms of titles for Barangay Ginebra until Tim Cone recently eclipsed that mark during the 2020 Philippine Cup bubble.
But it was his playing style that also attracted Ang to Jaworski as he likes his no-nonsense attitude that keeps his opponents guessing at any moment.
“Kapag nasa court ‘yan, lahat ng tao, takot sa kanya. Baka kung ano gawin niya eh,” said Ang.
“At naging Senador pa ‘yan,” Ang added.
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