PBA legends Robert Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz make sentimental trip back to Big Dome

IMAGE Jerome Ascano

Former backcourt partners Robert Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz watch Game Two of Ginebra-Meralco championship from ringside.


Barangay Ginebra pulled off another coup when it had legends Robert Jaworski Sr. and Francis Arnaiz together watching Game Two of the PBA Governors Cup Finals on Sunday, October 15, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Jaworski and Arnaiz, whose illustrious backcourt partnership produced a number of championships for Toyota and later laid the foundation for Ginebra’s never-say-die squad, arrived together at the Big Dome early in the second quarter with the Kings trailing the Meralco Bolts, 27-24.

The crowd erupted in jubilation upon seeing the duo making their way to ringside, although people had a hard time recognizing Arnaiz, 66, who migrated to the U.S. shortly after retiring from basketball after Ginebra won its first-ever league championship in the 1986 Open Conference.

The connection between the two basketball stars actually dates back to their pre-PBA days as they were also teammates at Meralco in the defunct MICAA.

As far as Arnaiz can remember, it's the first time he has watched a game live at the Big Dome with his good, old bosom buddy.

"You know what, together with him dito sa Araneta, I think so," said Arnaiz, who's set to leave the country on the 24th.

Asked what they talked about while they were watching the Kings and Bolts grind it out, Jaworski said it has something to do with age.

"A while ago, I told him we cannot play," said the Big J, eliciting laughter from his audience.

Ginebra didn't disappoint the two Hall of Fame players as it pulled off an 86-76 comeback win to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

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