No other fandom has shown such devotion to a basketball team than Barangay Ginebra. For 40 years, chants of “Gi-neb-ra!” have rocked stadiums where the team played. Where Barangay Ginebra goes, they follow. (Their games are able to draw SRO crowds even in the 55,000-seat Philippine Arena in Bulacan, the world’s largest indoor arena.) Win or lose, the legions of die-hard Barangay Ginebra San Miguel fans have shown their commitment to the team. And even in this age of social media, every Barangay Ginebra game is sure to be a top trending topic on Twitter. Indeed, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel has the best fans in the world.
THE BIRTH OF NSD (NEVER-SAY-DIE)
Ask any Barangay Ginebra San Miguel player what keeps them going on the court even when the odds are against them, the answer – the fans. The passion of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel fans mirrors the fervor of the players once they get on the court. After all, this is the team that lives and breathes the words, Never-Say-Die.
It all began in 1985. Though the team was formed in 1979, the year 1985 went down in Philippine basketball history as the year Ginebra San Miguel’s Never-Say-Die spirit was born.
The protagonist in this historical moment is no other than Robert Jaworksi, Sr. After being hit by a wayward elbow in the second quarter, the Big J had to leave the game to go to the hospital. To everyone’s shock, he returned in the third quarter with seven stitches on his lip. The Gins were behind by 15 points going into the final seven minutes of the game when Jaworski re-entered the court and led the team to victory, sparking a frenzy that to date, is unmatched. This was the beginning of Ginebra’s Never-Say-Die mantra.
THE LEGEND LIVES ON
Year after year, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel players continued the team’s Never-Say-Die legacy.
“The Fast and The Furious” duo of Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand showed resilience and determination when they fought hard to end the team’s seven-year drought in the 2004-2005 season to win the PBA Fiesta Conference. Moreover, they turned this victory into a back-to-back win as they also claimed victory in the following conference – Philippine Cup Conference.
Helterbrand has since retired but believes that the team’s NSD spirit is alive in the current players, like Scottie Thompson who is making history himself. He recorded his third triple double and bagged the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP. He brings his best in every game, fighting for every rebound, taking the shots and giving tough defense.
Another current player giving his all in every match is Justin Brownlee. His buzzer-beating three-pointer clinched the 2016 Governor’s Cup for the Gin Kings, their first after eight years. The game exemplified the NSD spirit with the team coming back from a 15-point deficit at half time. Brownlee returned the following season and helped Barangay Ginebra defend the Governor’s Cup, this time in front a new PBA record crowd attendance of 54,068 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
40th ANNIVERSARY JERSEY COLLECTION
To thank Barangay Ginebra San Miguel fans for their four decades of support, Ginebra San Miguel is launching the 2019 Never Say Die Jersey Collection featuring the Living Legend and father of Never-Say-Die spirit, Robert Jaworski, Sr. (7); the unforgettable “The Fast and the Furious” duo, Jayjay Helterbrand (13) and Mark Caguioa (47), fast-rising basketball superstar Scottie Thompson (6), and the most beloved PBA import who has won the hearts of Pinoy basketball fans Justin Brownlee (32). These limited edition jerseys will be worn by the team in the upcoming 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
What makes the 2019 Jersey Collection special? “This is the first time in the 40-year history of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel that ‘Never-Say-Die’ is featured in the team jersey. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel has become synonymous to the never-say-die spirit that has been the mantra not only of the Gin Kings but also of every kabarangay. Our tribute to never-say-die, which began with coach Robert ‘Sonny’ Jaworski, Sr., is also a tribute to the team’s legions of fans who have not only embraced and loved the team but also embodied the never-say-die attitude,” says Ginebra San Miguel Brand Manager Paolo Tupaz.
To avail of the jerseys, just buy any GSMI product. Every six (6) seals of Ginebra San Miguel or any five (5) caps of GSM Blue, GSM Blue Flavors, Primera Light Brandy and Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin, entitles customers to purchase one jersey for only P100 at your favorite supermarket or convenience store outlets nationwide. Fans can get the Ginebra San Miguel 2019 Jersey Collection until June 30, 2019.
For more details and updates on the promo, log on to www.ginebra.com.ph, check out the official Facebook page of Ginebra San Miguel www.facebook.com/barangayginebra or call the GSMI customer care hotline at 632-2564.