With the arrival of star point guard LA Tenorio to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel during the offseason, it was inevitable that team captain and veteran point guard Jayjay Helterbrand’s playing time and role would be affected the most.
The longtime Ginebra floor general has been asked to yield his starting spot, and become more of a role player this season; something that hasn’t necessarily sat in well with the former league MVP.
“To be honest I’m not used to this role as a player. I don’t think I’ve ever played this small amount of minutes,” Helterbrand told our media partner Snow Badua of PTV Sports. In the Gins’ embarrassing 87-69 loss to the Alaska Aces last Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Helterbrand played a grand total of 5 minutes.
Helterbrand, however, has maintained professionalism in handling his new role. “But at the same time, I also understand that I’m one of the senior citizens on the team. That I need to learn to try to be more of a mentoring role now for the younger players, because I’m in the point of my career now where, maybe, I’m not as fast as I used to be or jump as high as I used to. Even though I’m not happy with it I accept it,” Helterbrand said.
With rumors swirling about his retirement, the 36-year-old strongly believes that he still has a lot of juice left in him, and that his current situation with Ginebra is not an indication that he is ready to hang up his sneaker. “I know I can still contribute to the team if given the opportunity, but that doesn’t mean I’m complaining about my playing time or anything,” Helterbrand said, and added, “I just want to help the team in any way I can; stay positive throughout the whole thing be it good or bad. Just play my role in whatever position the coach tells me. Whatever minutes.”
Ginebra has dropped 4 straight games after starting the PBA Philippine Cup with 2 straight wins. They will have some time to figure out how to get out of their slump prior to their next game on Nov. 5 versus San Mig Coffee.
- CLICK HERE to listen to Snow Badua’s interview with Jayjay Helterbrand.
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Dennis is an MMA and Filipino Sports writer for quadrust.com; boxing writer for BoxingScene.com; NBA writer for NBA.com Philippines; sportswriter for the Sun Star newspaper, The Guardians newspaper in the Philippines; TV host for Fil-Am TV; contributor to PTV Sports on channel 4, 5-6 pm in the Philippines; TV5’s InterAksyon.com. You can follow him on Twitter @dRealSource.