Helterbrand’s endgame stability hastens Gin Kings’ ascent

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Helterbrand’s endgame stability hastens Gin Kings’ ascent Empty Helterbrand’s endgame stability hastens Gin Kings’ ascent

MANILA, Philippines – Due to his agility and quickness, Jayjay Helterbrand has been known as the first half of Barangay Ginebra's “The Fast and the Furious" backcourt combo with buddy Mark Caguioa.

He has also steadily earned another moniker, “The Poise," for his uncanny ability to don the mantle of responsibility for the Kings in clutch situations.

Helterbrand proved this anew in the week that was, providing the stability in the endgame to help the Kings stretch their amazing winning streak and earn for himself the Motolite/Accel PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period March 4 to 10.

The heady guard averaged 19.5 points, 5.0 assists, 1.5 rebounds and only 1.0 turnover in Ginebra's back-to-back wins over Sta. Lucia Realty and Purefoods that had the perennial crowd favorite suddenly locked in a four-way tie for second-running spot with a 7-5 win-loss record.

The Kings' current position is a very far cry from their 1-5 start in the conference and coach Jong Uichico admits Helterbrand played a major role in their six-game run.

“He is the leader of the team right now with such a positive attitude and energy," said Uichico. “He has been consistent for us, being one of our top shooters, and very good assist-to-turnover ratio."

There is also Helterbrand's freethrow shooting that had him going 18-for-19 from the stripe, most coming when the game was on the line.

The 32-year-old product of Kentucky State-Lexington first showed this in Ginebra's 101-98 win over Sta. Lucia last Friday.

His charities in the last 11.8 seconds quelled the Realtors' last threat, capped a 19-point output anchored on 9-of-10 free throw shooting and pegged the final score.

Taking the cue from that game, Purefoods tried to avoid fouling Helterbrand when the Giants were trying to fight back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit by going into penalty in a bid to try and stop the dwindling clock.

But the Kings still went to Helterbrand and he made Purefoods pay by capping a perfect 9-of-9 clip from the stripe with five straight free throws, including four inside the last 34 seconds that kept Ginebra up by seven.

Now, the Kings could even make it outright to the semifinals if they clinch a top two slot following the classification round. Or, failing that, they would be left with a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.

Uichico doesn't outwardly care, as long as his team continues to rally around the stability provided by Helterbrand. – GMANews.TV

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