With Ginebra trailing at the half, the Living Legend Robert Jaworski walked to the Gin Kings’ bench to give the players a pep talk.
“He walked towards us and told us to keep on fighting and playing hard,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.
Known for his never-say-die attitude, Jaworski seemed to have imbued the current crop of Ginebra players with the same spirit, as the Gin Kings rallied in the fourth quarter for a thrilling 87-85 win to put the perfect cap to the Big J’s big night.
Earlier in the evening, Ginebra paid tribute to Jaworski by retiring his jersey in an emotional ceremony.
“God could have written a perfect script and it happened tonight, the same night when we’re celebrating the jersey retirement of coach Robert Jaworski,” said Tanquingcen.
Just like Ginebra of the Jaworski era, battled back, coming back from a 69-68 deficit entering the fourth quarter to pull out the win capped by a game-winner by import Cedric Bozeman.
Superstar guard Mark Caguioa said the comeback was for the Ginebra diehards — more than 15,000 in all — who trooped to the SMART-Araneta Coliseum to fete Jaworski.
“This night is definitely for the fans. Maski matalo kami sa game na ito, it was a perfect way to play the game on the night of Jaworski’s jersey retirement,” said Caguioa.
“But it became more special na kami yung nanalo.”
Former MVP Jayjay Helterbrand added: “It’s a perfect ending to end a perfect day for Jaworski. What a game it was.”
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