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PBA: Fast and Furious redux

Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand have everything they could ask for at the twilight of their playing careers. They are playing for the country’s most popular ballclub under perhaps the best coach in the land and in position to win another championship.

The legendary duo of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel are facing a familiar foe in the PBA Philippine Cup finals in the San Miguel Beermen, a team that they have faced multiple times before in the PBA’s biggest stage.

Caguioa, 37, and Helterbrand, 40, may no longer be the main guys but the tandem dubbed as “The Fast and the Furious” are hoping to leave a mark in what will be their fourth finals encounter against the Beermen.

“We still want to prove that we can still help the team, and I don’t know but I’m really excited for this one,” said Caguioa.

“We’ll do the best we can, whatever opportunities we can get. But we’ll give the heavy lifting to the other guys,” added Helterbrand, who conceded that it will be up for the likes of LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, Sol Mercado and company to give Ginebra’s legion of fans another reason to celebrate.

Two of the finals meetings Caguioa and Helterbrand had against San Miguel came in the All-Filipino. The first was in the 2001 All-Filipino Cup when Helterbrand was a sophomore guard and Caguioa being a blonde-haired rookie who captured the imagination of Ginebra fans looking for a figure that could succeed following Robert Jaworski’s departure three years earlier.

Ginebra gave San Miguel a scare, tying the series at 2-2 after losing the first two, but couldn’t stop the rampage of the Beermen team led by Danny Ildefonso, Danny Seigle and Olsen Racela and lost, 4-2.

Caguioa and Helterbrand would have their payback in the 2006-07 Philippine Cup, this time winning four straight after another 0-2 deficit to hoist the newly-made Perpetual Trophy which was introduced before the start of that year’s tournament.

They had a talented roster surrounding them in the brash Rudy Hatfield, Sunday Salvacion and Ronald Tubid, who in this latest Ginebra-San Miguel meeting will be on the other side representing the Beermen.

Tenorio was also part of that 2007 finals as a rookie for San Miguel. He, along with Olsen Racela, starting point guard of the Beermen in the 2001 and 2007 meetings, are now with Ginebra, with the latter as coach Tim Cone’s assistant.

What do you think?

Written by Jonas Terrado

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