For 17 years we played together. We were with each other every single day. Now that mawawala siya sa practice, sa games, its gonna be a really big adjustment for me — Barangay Ginebra guard Mark Caguioa on long-time partner Jayjay Helterbrand’s retirement
Veteran Barangay Ginebra guard Mark Caguioa is happy and at the same time sad with long-time backcourt partner Jayjay Helterbrand’s decision to finally hang his jersey after 17 years with the Gin Kings.
“My reaction like I’ve said before, I’m happy and sad at the same time,” said Caguioa Monday night during Ginebra’s 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup championship victory party held at the San Miguel Corporation’s headquarters in Mandaluyong.
Helterbrand formally announced his retirement early Monday, three days since informing his teammates of his decision to call it quits moments after the Gin Kings retained their Governors’ Cup throne against Meralco in a grueling Game 7 battle witnessed by a record crowd of 54,086 inside the massive Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The tandem known as “The Fast and the Furious” thrilled Gin Kings faithful not only with their fast-paced and exciting plays but also because of their passion and never-say-die spirit. They won six titles together.
But the duo will now part ways and will end the PBA’s most popular and endearing tandem.
“(I’m) happy because he gets to spend time with his family and love ones back in the States. You know, sad because I’m not gonna be with him every day,” said Caguioa. “For 17 years we played together. We were with each other every single day. Now that mawawala siya sa practice, sa games, it’s gonna be a really big adjustment for me.”
There were already talks of Helterbrand’s retirement even last year when the Gin Kings ended an eight-year title drought. But Helterbrand gave it another year before deciding.
“I kinda talked him out of it,” revealed Caguioa.
“I think this one is the best way to go kasi nag-champion na kami and he wanted to retire so that’s perfect,” he added.
Caguioa said that he already knew that Helterbrand will be playing his last song.
“I was kinda ready for it. Parang alam ko na eh. I know that he’s ready and I’m happy because he’s happy with that decision,” he said.
Helterbrand may have retired but hanging his no. 13 jersey to the rafters might need to wait a little more.
“Sabi ko sa kanya maghintay ka siguro ng mga 10 years pa when I’m 47,” Caguioa joked as they planned to have both their jerseys retired at the same time.
Indeed, the Caguioa-Helterbrand tandem made its mark on the PBA.
They made a generation of Ginebra fans ride fast and furious.
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