Jaworski to Ginebra: You don't just shout 'Never Say Die,' you do it

MANILA, Philippines – So Barangay Ginebra has 'Never Say Die' in its DNA, but for the man who lived by this mantra, it's not just talk the talk, they also must walk the walk if they want to climb out of a 1-3 hole in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals against San Miguel Beer.

Ginebra will be looking to emulate the 'Never Say Die' mantra made famous by Robert Jaworski as it tries to avoid elimination, but "The Big J" believes this is easier said than done. 

"Well, hindi sinasabi iyon eh, ginagawa," said Jaworski.  (You do not just say it, you do it.)

"I want to say that they are tired. I want to say that to get back in the series, they got to do more than what they did tonight."

Jaworski, who was a surprise spectator in Game 4 together with fellow PBA great Ramon Fernandez, obviously did not like what he saw after Ginebra absorbed an 81-102 romp from the Beermen on Thursday, March 15. 

The Gin Kings looked a step slower while the Beermen controlled the pace from the get-go, swinging their 10-point first-quarter lead to as big as 29 points. 

"Ngayon lang ulit ako nanood ng live (This is the first time that I watched live for a long time). I always watched on TV but there were times when I wasn't able to watch. But today, they weren't playing. Their focus was not there. I don't know why. Walang (No) focus eh."

History is not on Ginebra's side. According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon, only 4 teams in the 43 years of the league have come back from a 1-3 deficit. 

Although Jaworski was part of one of those 4 teams, leading Ginebra to win the title in the first conference of 1991 against Shell, he said achieving the feat will be a tall order for the Gin Kings. 

"They had a hard journey, before the semis, and this time, it isn't easy. They're playing San Miguel. They have to put a lot of effort and desire together," said the man also called "The Living Legend."

Ginebra looks to live another day when it faces San Miguel for Game 5 tomorrow, March 17, at the Cuneta Astrodome. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.