Whatever it was, Jaworski still has it

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Whatever it was, Jaworski still has it

Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:46 pm

Whatever it was, Jaworski still has it


Published : Tuesday, July 03, 2012 00:00
THE time was 1978, the place Araneta Coliseum.

Robert “Big J” Jaworski had just won the PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award while playing for crowd favorite Toyota Tamaraws.

The Tamaraws, then under coach Dante Silverio, had won two of the three PBA Conferences -- All-Filipino against Filmanbank (3-1) and Invitational against Tanduay Rum (3-1).

Eight years later -- 1986 -- Jaworski steered Ginebra San Miguel to the PBA Open Conference title with a smashing 4-1 win over Manila Beer.

It was the first of four PBA titles that Jaworski won as the country’s most successful playing coach.

After that, Jaworski also won the 1988 All-Filipino, 1991 First Conference and 1997 Commissioner's Cup, all with Ginebra.

No one knows exactly what it was about Jaworski but to this day, his name remained synonymous with local basketball.

Long after he played his last basketball game in 1998 -- after 24 seasons -- basketball fans all over the country always still want to talk about Jaworski, the “Living Legend”.

I guess everything will be alright as long as there is Jaworski in basketball. That way, fans will never get old. It's always 1978 or something. Basketball is played a lot better.

And Jaworski, whose well-loved No. 7 jersey is set to be formally retired by the PBA in a fitting ceremony at the Araneta Coliseum on July 8, vowed to stay in the game for as long as he can.

“Basketball is like life itself,” said Jaworski during a recent interview with media friends at the Linden Suites in Ortigas last Friday.

“One has to live and play by the rules to enjoy it and be successful as well. It’s not an easy 24/7 thing. You have to have a dream to wrap with full dedication, hard work and prayers to God to help you conquer the challenges that come your way,” added Jaworski, who turned 66 last March 8.

Added Jaworski: “Basketball is clearly a unifying factor that welds families, friends and businesses, which explain the strong support of the country’s biggest corporations to the game.”

To this day, Jaworski is still talking about sharing his wisdom and knowledge in the sport he loves so much.

At the same time, he urged the government to pay more attention to sports development because “it is a show window of the country's real situation.”

He wishes there are more officials who are not only within the reach of the masses but also progressive and caring to encourage unity and belongingness to every Filipino.

“Isn’t (world boxing champion ) Manny Pacquiao considered a reachable and touchable and yet a real hero for most of us? That's what I mean. Now, you tell me, can you do that to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? Sports connects people in a special way that works good for the country."

Asked for his advise to the Filipino athletes competing in this year's Olympic Games in London, Jaworski said, “Every country has worked forward extensively to capture honors.If we win medals, gold or any kind of mint, fine. It is not the gold that matters but how you won or performed with proper decorum. Go, go, do the best of your ability but if the elusive gold is not possible, what counts is you did your job with honesty and integrity.”

Politics is also again knocking on the door on Jaworski, who, as senator, helped craft more than 300 laws from 1992 to 1998.

Among this landmark bills on care for the people and the environment is the Clean Water Act

If any political party offers to recruit him, will Jaworski accept?

“If I can’t do a thing with my whole heart, I don't go after it. Yes, there were offers but as I said, nothing is final until I have thoroughly digested what is in it.”

In looking back on a long and colorful career as a true sportsman, Jaworski was asked if he had any regrets, any things he had done differently.

“No. I did it my way,” he said.

Until now, Jaworski is still doing it his way. And that's what keeps us young.
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Re: Whatever it was, Jaworski still has it

Post by DMac on Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:18 pm

IBA ka talaga Tatang!!!
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