Jay-jay Helterbrand finally achieved the highest individual honor in PBA last night after he was adjudged as the 2008-2009 Most Valuable Player.
The 32-year old sweet-shooting point guard of the Barangay Ginebra won by a mile over Arwind Santos of Burger King and San Miguel Beer’s Dondon Hontiveros in copping the only individual honor he had not won in his eight-year basketball career in the PBA.
Helterbrand, who had ealier won the Best Player of the Conference award, garnered 3220 points culled from statistical points and votes from the regularly covering media, players, TV coveror and the PBA Commissioner’s office.
PBA chairman Joaqui Trillo of Alaska, assisted by Sta.
Lucia’s Buddy Encarnado and Commissioner Sonny Barrios, awarded the trophy to Helterbrand during the Leo Awards which preceded the Game Four of the best-of-seven finals series for the Fiesta Conference between Ginebra and San Miguel last night at the Araneta Coliseum. He was later joined on the stage by his 9-year old daughter, Jalyn.
“I’m really proud,” said Helterbrand. “It was something that I had wished but I never really thought that it would be like this.”
The Novaliches-born, Kentucky State University-groomed Helterbrand automatically became member of the Mythical First Team that also included Santos, Philippine Cup Finals MVP Mac-Mac Cardona, Jay Jay Washington of San Miguel Beer and Coca-Cola’s Asi Taulava, the leading player in statistical points.
Santos was at far second in the MVP race with 733, while Hontiveros had 650. Helterbrand, too, had the highest statistical points among the three with 439, with Santos having 420 and Hontiveros 402.