MANILA, Philippines - If Jayjay Helterbrand finally chooses to hang his jersey for good, the 2017 Governors’ Cup title would be LA Tenorio’s parting gift.
Thanks to Tenorio’s heroics, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel notched its 10th championship in franchise history with 101-96 win over the Meralco Bolts in Game 7 before a mammoth crowd at the Philippine Arena Friday, October 27.
“The General,” who averaged 13.3 points, 3.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals en route to clinching Finals Most Valuable Player, played his best game of the series when it mattered most as he poured in a game-high 26 points to go with 4 assists.
Suffering from a bummed elbow throughout the series, Tenorio shrugged off the pain to fulfill his goal of giving Helterbrand another championship before “Helter Skelter” walks away from the PBA.
Helterbrand was planning to retire after the 2015-2016 season but chose to play one more season after Ginebra ended its 8-year title drought with the Governors’ Cup championship last year.
“Aside from my family, management ng Ginebra, I want to dedicate this championship to Jayjay,” Tenorio said.
“Kasi nagusap kami na hindi niya pa alam kung ano ‘yung plano niya so sabi ko sa kaniya, “We’ll get this one.” Si Mark (Caguioa) naman babalik pa yan e but I want to dedicate this championship to Jayjay.”
(We talked and he said he does not know what his plan is after this season. So I told him, “We’ll get this one.” Mark Caguioa will still play so I want to dedicate this championship to Jayjay.)
Helterbrand barely played in the finals but it was him, alongside Caguioa and Sol Mercado, who reminded Tenorio that he is a pivotal part of Ginebra’s triumph.
“‘Yung tiwala na binigay ng mga teammates ko, they’re really pushing me. Jayjay, Mark and Sol, talagang silang tatlo ‘yung nasa mukha ko na palaging, “We need you, we need you.” Nandoon ‘yung tiwala nila sakin and malaking bagay ‘yung para sakin as a veteran.”
(They trusted me and they really pushed me. It was Jayjay, Mark and Sol who kept reminding me, “We need you, we need you.” Their trust is a really big thing for me as a veteran of this team.)
Tenorio, who now has 3 PBA championships and 3 Finals MVP to go along with it, is set to undergo surgery on his elbow on Saturday October 28 and said he will have sufficient time to recover as the PBA’s new season is set to start on December 17. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.