No comebacks for Jayjay
After a triple-double performance in a sentimental version of the PBA’s “Manila Clasico,” Jayjay Helterbrand laughed at the idea that he is good enough for another season in the pros.
“I don’t think so,” the retired 42-year-old guard said.
Helterbrand, who played for 17 years with the league’s most popular ballclub, finished with 21 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in Barangay Ginebra’s 97-89 victory over Purefoods in the Battle of Rivals classic last Sunday.
But there’s an even more important number: 42. That’s how old the former MVP is, making him the youngest—and thereby the fittest—among the legends that suited up for the pair of fund-raising matches at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I was blown away by the energy and I didn’t want to let the team down,” Helterbrand said after the game. “I think I may have actually pushed myself a bit over to the top.”
Quite expectedly, he was the quickest, the scrappiest and the toughest throughout the affair. But the signs were there that comebacks were out of the question.
“My knees are now hurting,” Helterbrand said with a chuckle.
“I was in awe trying to absorb everything. I didn’t really plan on playing that hard, but I didn’t want to let [the team] down,” he added. “I came out there and I wanted to get that win for them.”
“It’s really an honor to be able to play on the court with all the legends. Just the stories I’ve heard in practice, getting a chance to be coached by the legend himself? And be able to play for a good cause? That was fun,” Helterbrand said.
“I missed it. I’ll be honest—I missed the energy of the fans and the guys. My first shot was an air ball, and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing here?’”