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    Jaworski's brief Tanduay dalliance after falling-out with Ginebra

    Apr 25, 2021
    PHOTO: Manila Standard / Spin.ph

    GINEBRA icon Robert Jaworski was a true-blooded ka-barangay except for this brief period 22 years ago when he signed for a role in a rival brand.

    On his 53rd birthday on March 8, 1999, Jaworski announced during a press conference that he has joined the Tanduay Gold Rhum Masters, who at that time were returning as an expansion team in the PBA.

    In a report by the Manila Standard, Jaworski bared that he joined the company as a product endorser and spokesperson, team consultant, and management official.

    A spot in the team’s official roster, if Jaworski’s schedule permitted it, was also part of the deal.

    Jaworski had previously played for the team with his short stint for the YCO Painters in 1967. The YCO team owned by the Elizalde family later became Tanduay.

    In the press conference, Jaworski was joined by Asia Brewery chief Bong Tan, whose family-owned company took over the brand following the sale from the Elizalde family in 1988.

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      “This is like a homecoming to me. I’m happy to be home again. I hope I can do my humble share so that I can contribute to sports development and even employment,” Jaworski added.

      During this time, Jaworski was fresh from winning a seat in the Senate in the 1998 elections but was also coming off a falling out with Ginebra that same year caused by the hiring of Allan Caidic as assistant coach.

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      There still appeared to be some bitterness on the part of Jaworski following the break-up that ended his stint with Ginebra and his playing career.

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        “They say they will stay with loyalty in some quarters but I would rather thank the people who constantly visited me and told me that they still wanted to join me. I wanted to be part of it,” said a tearful Jaworski then during the press conference, as quoted by the Manila Standard.

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        “Baka sabihin naman nila, iyakin pala itong si Jaworski. You always know what I stand for… for what is fair and right. Loyalty is still an important word in a human being’s existence,” Jaworski said.

        Jaworski’s stint with Tanduay was not well-documented, however, perhaps due to his busy schedule as a senator during that time.

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        Time, as they say, heals all wounds and ‘The Big J’ was able to renew his ties with Barangay Ginebra years later, showing up in important games and even visiting the team’s locker room. That brief stint with Tanduay didn’t tarnish Jaworski’s status as Ginebra royalty.

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        PHOTO: Manila Standard / Spin.ph
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