Helterbrand finds perfect time to call it a career
Jayjay Helterbrand was ready to call it a career last season.
But after Ginebra ended their eight-year title drought with a conquest of the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup, he felt he had another year in him.
“We won the championship and I knew we could do it again, so I stayed for another year,” he said.
And the Gin Kings made sure that Helterbrand made the right decision after completing the title repeat in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup, giving their longtime playmaker the rightful sendoff he deserves.
“It came to life that we won again and I think this is a perfect time for me to hang it up,” said Helterbrand, who wrapped up his 17-year career with six titles with Ginebra and a Most Valuable Player award in the 2009 season.
“What a better way to go out and winning two championships. For me, I think it’s the perfect time. I had a great career, no regrets, and I’m happy where I am right now. I’m just really excited to see what the future holds.”
The 41-year-old Helterbrand admitted that he didn’t expect to reap all of these accolades when he entered the league as a direct hire in 2000.
“I had no expectations on how my career was going to be. All I wanted to do was play. I didn’t think that I’ll be one of the top players of all time in the PBA and it’s amazing to win these many championships,” he said.
Now considered as one of the 40 greatest players of the PBA, Helterbrand could look back on his successful career, with his last memory being the record 54,086 fans cheering in jubilation at Philippine Arena to celebrate the Gin Kings’ Game 7 conquest.
“It was awesome to be able to play in front of all the people who’s been there for my entire career, the people who have supported Ginebra throughout the years, and to win it for them is amazing.”
However, Helterbrand said that he may have ended his playing career but that doesn’t mean that he’s step away from the game for good.
“I’m not going anywhere. I’ll still be around,” he promised.
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