Jayjay Helterbrand didn’t look like he came out of the losing locker room at Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday night.
Helterbrand still managed to break a smile and chuckle during an interview with reporters but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t care any less after Barangay Ginebra dropped Game 2 of its semifinals showdown with Star.
Playing in his 16th season, Helterbrand had seen it all and 0-2 in a best-of-seven series is not the end for his Gin Kings.
“We always do it the hard way. We’ve been doing it the hard way the whole conference. It’s not over. We’re down two games, but it takes 4 to win,” Helterbrand said after Ginebra lost, 91-89. “We’re not gonna give up, just keep trying. It’s been a close game. It’s not like they’ve been dominating the series. We could have won Game 1 or Game 2.”
“It just turns out, a couple of rebounds away, a couple of missed layups away from winning. It’s not over. Just gotta keep our heads up, keep trying. That’s all,” he added.
Ginebra has lost the first two games of the series by a combined six points. The Gin Kings yielded the opener, 78-74.
Though the 40-year-old Helterbrand isn’t showing any signs of panic, he stressed Ginebra has to have a sense of urgency ahead of Game 3 on Monday.
“There’s gotta be. You’re down two games, you should have had that sense of urgency since Game 1. That’s just the mentality that you gotta have. This is the playoffs,” he said.
“You can’t go out there relaxed thinking there’s a Game 3 or Game 4 or whatever. Every game is a do-or-die game. That’s the kind of mentality you gotta have. Hopefully the next couple of games we can show that.”
Ginebra’s other guard Sol Mercado echoed Helterbrand sentiments. He also shares his teammate’s confidence despite the odds being stacked against the Gin Kings.
“When you’re down 0-2, you can’t get go down 0-3, so it’s definitely a must win next game. But we’re still confident,” Mercado said.
“We haven’t played our best game and we’re still just one possession, stop away from winning the game, so we continue to believe that we can do this, and take it for next game.”