Ex-Ginebra star Jayjay Helterbrand elated to get copy of own PBA trading card

Published April 27, 2021, 7:32 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Jayjay Helterbrand is elated that he was able to once again own a copy of his own trading card from two decades ago courtesy of a kind-hearted collector.

The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel legend took to Instagram to thank EJ Sabandal for giving Helterbrand’s Upper Deck PBA card which was produced in 2000.

Sabandal is regarded for keeping a number of LeBron James memorabilia, but also has several PBA cards as a side collection.

Helterbrand said he had lost his own version of the trading card, which shows an action photo of the one-time PBA Most Valuable Player going for a layup against Red Bull’s Jimwell Torion.

“This means a lot because I lost mine and it has a lot of sentimental value for me!!” Helterbrand said in his Instagram post.

“EJ (Sabandal), you just made a new friend today and I will start collecting again and what a better way than your own Upper Deck card!!! Mad love bro!!!” Helterbrand added.

The league had secured a deal with American trading card company Upper Deck following the launch of PBA Properties in 2000.

At the time, Upper Deck had a license to produce NBA trading cards, and it used the same templates and designs to produce the PBA version.

Helterbrand was among the rookies and direct-hire players from the Metropolitan Basketball Association who had cards from the Upper Deck set.

Among them were Helterbrand’s fellow direct hires Rudy Hatfield and Dondon Hontiveros, No. 1 overall pick Paolo Mendoza and Torion, who was one of six players elevated by expansion Red Bull from its Philippine Basketball League squad.

Notable PBA greats who were part of set were Danny Ildefonso, Danny Seigle, Johnny Abarrientos, Jojo Lastimosa, Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, Nelson Asaytono, Bal David, Noli Locsin, Jun Limpot and Ato Agustin.