Helterbrand ready to be ‘never-say-die’ for Bandera
Two years after his retirement from the PBA, former Ginebra star Jayjay Helterbrand vowed to embody the Gin Kings’ never-say-die attitude as he returns to competitive basketball with the Imus Bandera in the third season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
The 42-year-old Helterbrand feels he still has plenty of basketball left in him even after retiring two years ago from the PBA, where he was named Most Valuable Player a decade ago.
“I didn’t play for a long time especially competitively, but I’m a basketball player and I’m still passionate about the game,” Helterbrand said at MOA Arena, where he attended the opening ceremony of the MPBL Lakan Cup.
Helterbrand will make his debut as the Bandera take on the Caloocan Supremos on Thursday night at Caloocan Sports Complex.
“I just signed my contract for the season. Everything is fairly new right now and I have a lot to catch up [to do] as far as conditioning. But once the season starts, I’ll be ready to play more minutes.”
Helterbrand said his stint with the Ginebra legends got his “juices flowing again,” setting the stage for his comeback.
“Basically I just missed playing,” he said. “I’ve been playing with the legends team and Ginebra. And it kind of got my juices flowing again.”
Helterbrand said he’s glad he’s gotten plenty of support for his comeback of sorts from former teammates, particularly Mark Caguioa.
At Imus, Helterbrand will be teaming up with celebrity baller Gerald Anderson and former University of the Philippines guard Mikee Reyes.
“I’m just trying to bring my experience, my leadership,” Helterbrand said.
“We’re not going to be a one-man show. I’m not going out there to dominate the ball, I’ll just try to be that leader for the younger guys and of course, I’m ready to bring the never-say-die spirit to the team.”
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