MANILA, Philippines – No less than six players, led by top gun Mark Caguioa, has been re-signed by Barangay Ginebra before starting its training tomorrow for the coming season under returning head coach Siot Tanquingcen.
Caguioa inked a fresh two-year pact worth P8.4 million even as Eric Menk settled for a one-year contract-extension deal (P4.2 million) and Jayjay Helterbrand just for a one-conference agreement.
With an assortment of injuries slowing him down in the last two years, Helterbrand wants to see how he fares in the first conference.
"If he can't cope anymore, he might call it quits," SMC official Robert Non told The STAR.
"He's thinking on returning to the United States. He said his daughter there is growing fast. He wants to be with her," Non also said.
Helterbrand is 34 and has been in the league since 2000, reaching the pinnacle of his career in winning the MVP award in 2009.
He’s easily among the league’s best in the last 10 years, gaining two Mythical Five honors, two All-Star MVP plums and twice making the national team roster (in Fiba Asia joust in Tokushima in 2007 and the Asian tilt in Tianjin in 2009).
But injuries just won’t spare the heady guard in the last two years.
Rico Villanueva also signed a new contract, ready to plunge back into action having recovered from a knee injury.
Ginebra also re-signed Yancy de Ocampo, thus, keeping a solid frontline rotation despite Rudy Hatfield’s decision not to return anymore.
Filling in the spot left by Hatfield is former FEU banger Reil Cervantes.
Only Talk n Text and Petron Blaze remain in vacation with Ginebra opening training camp tomorrow.
Both the Texters and the Boosters start preparing for the coming season on Sept. 14.
The 2011-2012 PBA season kicks off with the Philippine Cup on Oct. 2.
Despite health woes, the Kings fared well last season, finishing second in the Commissioner's Cup and narrowly missing the finals in the Governors Cup.