The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will pay tribute to Robert Jaworski by retiring his Ginebra jersey No. 7 in a ceremony to be held on July 8 after the first game of the PBA semifinals.

Photo: Jerome Ascano

Sa July 8, Linggo, ay ireretiro na ang jersey No. 7 ng tinaguriang “Living Legend” ng Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) na si Robert Jaworski.

Ang ibig sabihin nito ay wala nang ibang puwedeng gumamit ng jersey No. 7 sa koponan ng Ginebra.

Gaganapin ang jersey retirement ceremony para kay Big J pagkatapos ng Game 1 ng PBA semifinals na mapapanood nang live sa AKTV IBC 13.

Sa press conference na inihanda ng Ginebra San Miguel para kay Jaworski kaninng tanghali, June 29, sa Linden Suites, Origas Center, Pasig City, ay inihayag ng legendary basketball hero ang kanyang saloobin kaugnay ng pagreretiro ng kanyang jersey.

“It is both full of happiness and sadness but the most important matter is we’re just retiring my jersey—and that’s very important.

“I guess so much flame of competitiveness burn in me and while I haven’t been present most of the time in the PBA games, I want you to understand that my heart, my mind, and my spirit is always there.

“I enjoy watching it the way I used to when I was playing.

“Thinking about this retirement has never come into my mind because so many things have gone so fast.

“I treasure those moments in the PBA. Twenty-three years is 23 years.

“The PBA is now on its 37th year, and I am happy that I was there when I was in seven!” biro niya.

Dalawampu’t tatlong taon ang inilaan ng Polish-Filipino athlete sa Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Nang magbukas ang PBA noong 1975, si Jaworski ay naging bahagi ng koponang Toyota.

Nang ma-disband ang Toyota noong 1983 ay kinuha ng La Tondeña Inc. (na naging Ginebra San Miguel) si Jaworski at ang kaibigan nitong si Francis Arnaiz para sa kanilang koponan.

Dito na nagsimula ang walang kapantay na phenomenon ng Barangay Ginebra sa pamumuno siyempre ni Jaworski bilang playing coach.

Ang huling laro ni Jaworski sa PBA ay noong March 1997, kung saan nakuha niya ang record ng oldest player na nakapaglaro ng basketball professionally, sa edad na 50.