Ginebra’s Helterbrand retires after 17 years in PBA

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Jayjay Helterbrand has played his last game for Ginebra. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Half of Ginebra’s famed “Fast and Furious” backcourt is set to hang up his sneakers.

JayJay Helterbrand has decided to retire after 17 highly successful years in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), all of them spent with the Ginebra franchise.

Helterbrand told CNN Philippines on Monday that Ginebra’s Game 7 triumph against the Meralco Bolts last Friday, which clinched them the PBA Governors’ Cup title, marked his last game in the league.

“That would be my last game as a player,” he confirmed.

“I’ll still be around, and hopefully I can maybe have a spot as an assistant coach or something, but that’s later on down the line,” he added.

A six-time PBA champion who won Most Valuable Player honors in 2009, Helterbrand teamed up with Mark Caguioa to form an exciting backcourt partnership for the Gin Kings.

His minutes have been steadily dwindling during the past couple of seasons, however, though he and Caguioa still receive ecstatic ovations whenever they enter the court.

The Finals MVP in Ginebra’s 2006 All-Filipino Cup win, Helterbrand said he has the full support of their management and even received business offers from their bosses. However, he intends to take a brief break from basketball.

Helterbrand signed with Ginebra in 2000 as a direct hire after a very brief stint with the Batangas Blades of the Metropolitan Basketball Association.

According to a report from Quinito Henson, Ginebra has already offered to retire Helterbrand’s famed No. 13 jersey, but Helterbrand wants to wait for Caguioa to retire as well, “so their jerseys can be honored together.”

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