This second issue was a little harder to put together because I was out for a lengthy amount of time (was on vacation in Europe) and teams were in the middle of the hunt for a playoff berth for the season-ending Governors’ Cup.
The cover as you all have seen features Ginebra’s iconic duo of Jayjay Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa. Again, as a long-time PBA fan, it is a thrill to have them as representatives from arguably the league’s most popular ball club in the magazine more so as cover subjects.
As a youngster, I rooted for Ginebra (now as journalist and as PBA Life EIC I have to be neutral).
I recall during the 1986 season ending Open Conference where Ginebra played Manila Beer for the title, the former lost in Game Two. This after that game-winning dunk by Billy Ray Bates. I wrote a lengthy fan letter on yellow legal pad (I was in first year college then) about my observations of the two matches played and even recommended some plays on how to free up Michael Hackett and so and so. I asked a classmate of mine to drop it off at Robert Jaworski’s home at Corinthian Gardens since they were neighbors. Anyways, Ginebra went on to win the title – the first of Jaworski’s career as playing coach and I would be foolhardy to think that the Big J read my letter.
That same Christmas, a car parked in front of the house and the driver asked for me. I will never forget those words he uttered, “Padala sa inyo ni Mr. Jaworski.”
It was a Christmas gift with a card signed “Bobby Jaworski” where he thanked me for the letter, the plays, and the support. There was a basket of goodies but the one I treasured the most was a Ginebra jacket that was several sizes bigger than me. But it didn’t matter. It was and is one of the best gifts I have ever received. I still have the card but lost the jacket to a fire that burned down my home several months ago.
After having written the cover story, I feel like I have come full circle. Hopefully, just as a man made me happy with a simple Christmas gift in 1986, you’ll enjoy this feature on the Fast and the Furious as well as our other features!
Anyways, aside from Jayjay and Mark, we also featured Jayson Castro, Greg Slaughter, Reynel Hugnatan, Mark Barroca, JP Erram, Justin Chua, Ronjay Buenafe, Brian Heruela, JM Wilson, Tim Cone, and the San Miguel Beermen.
There's going to be a magazine signing and meet and greet sometime this August. Watch out for the announcement.