Barangay Ginebra legend Chito Loyzaga is proud to see the young generation of the PBA’s most popular ballclub keeping alive the team’s never-say-die spirit even to this day.
Considered one of the pillars of the original Ginebra San Miguel squad under its charismatic coach Robert Jaworski, Loyzaga, 62, said basketball has definitely evolved throughout the years.
And yet, the kind of game for which the Kings have been known for has never waned and continues to be passed on from one generation to another.
“I’m happy for the team and I’m happy for their management. But the most important thing that keeps on going year by year, is that never-say-die attitude and spirit. They keep on playing their best and try so hard to win every game,” shared the now retired Ginebra forward Saturday during his appearance in the Power & Play program of former PBA commissioner Noli Eala.
Loyzaga won three championships during his stay with the Ginebra franchise from 1986 to 1993 as part of the very first never-say-die unit in franchise history, playing alongside Jaworski, his brother Joey, Dondon Ampalayo, Dante Gonzalgo, Rudy Distrito, Leo Isaac, Romulo Mamaril, Harmon Codinera, among others.
But even after their retirement, those who followed them kept the same approach in the game, from the time of Marlou Aquino and Bal David, to the ‘Fast and Furious’ tandem of Mark Caguioa and JayJay Helterbrand, to the present-day generation of LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Stanley Pringle, and Scottie Thompson.
In the last five seasons since coach Tim Cone came on board, the Kings have won a championship each year, including a historic one when they claimed the Philippine Cup title of the first ever PBA bubble recently.
Loyzaga couldn’t have been prouder with the way their successors have carried the proud Ginebra tradition.
“Today is quite different from my time and even from the time of my father, the game of basketball has evolved,” he pointed out.
“And it’s completely different now. But I’m very happy that they still have that attitude of never-say-die and they just have to continue with that. And you can see naman how the following is.”*PBA.PH