Just how good Helterbrand was in his prime years?
After 17 years in the PBA, Jayjay Helterbrand is walking away from basketball. And this time, it's for good.
If there's one guy who was to blame for Bal David losing his playing minutes during the latter part of his career and eventually lost it totally mainly because he got injured, it's Anthony "Jayjay" Helterbrand.
To begin with, Helterbrand, the one who wore number 13 for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, began by playing one game with the Batangas Blades in the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) in March 2000 before he was recruited by then Ginebra Coach Ron Jacobs to be the backup point guard to Bal David.
Since then, Jayjay Heltebrand's basketball career took off as he took over the starting role and formed what Ginebra fans thought as arguably the best backcourt duo the PBA has ever seen, at least during those years.
Helterbrand, alongside "The Spark" Mark Caguioa, formed the dynamic duo which earned the moniker as "The Fast and the Furious", a moniker they earned during the 2004 season thanks to the duo's exciting plays in games when they won back-to-back championships during that same season.
Now that Jayjay Helterbrand has announced his retirement just a few days after the Gin Kings won their second consecutive PBA Governors' Cup championship, let's take a look at some of the highlights of Helterbrand's 17-year stint with Ginebra:
6 Championships. And More
His points-per-game average didn't reach 20 points in his 17 years in the league but whether you like it or not, Jayjay Helterbrand's mere presence on the court, as we've seen during the recent 2 championship runs of Ginebra, was enough to energize the team and the crowd.
In the end, the now-retired Ginebra floor general has totaled 6 championships. Aside from that, he also had an MVP award in 2009 and a Finals MVP award during the Philippine Cup of the 2006-2007 season.
Oh and don't forget, folks. He was sidelined in the early goings of the 2005 season but came back and won the MVP plaque during the 2005 PBA All-Star Game and, the MVP award during the Sultan Cup in Brunei when he led Team Pilipinas' run.
Now that's a complete career, folks. Helterbrand may not have scored the highest number of points but there's no question that he has already earned the respect, and the love of the Ginebra community who will forever be grateful for his contributions.
577 Games in 17 Years
Can you just imagine how fast those 17 years went by? Despite being injured during the latter parts of his career, Jayjay Helterbrand played 577 games in his career. In those games, he had averaged 8 points per game which were highlighted by an 18 points per game average during the 2007-2008 season and was followed up by a 17-points per game average during the following season- the same season when he bagged his only MVP award.
The Fast and the Furious: A Brotherhood Never to be Broken
Forget the numbers. Forget the awards and all.
The one thing and probably, one of the best things Ginebra fans will always remember and love about Jayjay Helterbrand is his partnership with backcourt partner, Mark Caguioa. They may not be as "fast" and as "furious" during their early years together but if there's one thing that kept Giinebra together and what enabled the Gin Kings to become back-to-back Governors' Cup champions, that would be the bond that has been influenced by the two oldies' brotherhood. Brotherhood.
If anything, Helterbrand's partnership with Caguioa may have won Ginebra 6 championships together but together, they also built their own family and it's called the Ginebra family. Why? Brotherhood is why.
Jayjay Helterbrand is someone you can't easily replace. Sure, the Gin Kings have LA Tenorio, Sol Mercado and latest draft pick, Jett Manuel to take turns in playing the point guard position for Tim Cone but if there's something that separates Helterbrand from the rest, Jayjay Helterbrand can instantly energize the crowd just by preparing to enter the court. That's how loved Helterbrand is. That's how he will forever be loved.
Enjoy your retirement, #13.