Ginebra retires Big J's famous No. 7 jersey

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Ginebra retires Big J's famous No. 7 jersey

Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:19 pm

Ginebra retires Big J's famous No. 7 jersey
By Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) Updated June 30, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The fabled Ginebra No. 7 jersey worn for the longest time by Living Legend Robert “Sonny” Jaworski will be formally retired in a colorful ceremony on July 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Jaworski, the charismatic playing-coach of the PBA’s most popular squad, left the league in 1998 without announcing his retirement. He would later serve the Congress as a public servant (senator).

“The thought of retirement has never crossed my mind. I treasured the memories I had in the PBA,” Jaworski, the 1978 MVP and one of the PBA’s 25 Greatest Players, said in a press conference yesterday at Linden Suites.

The “Big J” typified the “never-say-die” spirit that had endeared his Ginebra squad to multitude of fans in the 1980s and 90s, something that was carried over to the current batch of the Gin Kings.

“(There is) so much flame of competitiveness burning in me,” Jaworski said, describing his intense character on the court.

As player-coach, Jaworski steered the Ginebra franchise to four championships – 1986 Open Conference, 1988 All-Filipino Conference, 1991 First Conference and 1997 Commissioner’s Cup.

“Nothing gives us more pleasure than giving The Big J (Jaworski) the honor he deserves after everything that he gave for Philippine basketball and Ginebra San Miguel as a brand and as a basketball team,” said GSMI marketing manager Nelson Elises.

Aside from his feats in Asia’s first play-for-play loop, Jaworski coached an all-pro team to the silver medal in the Asian Games in 1990. As a player, he was part of the teams that copped the Asian Basketball Confederation diadems in 1967 and 1973.

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