Saturday, September 13, 2008

Philippine Basketball Association

PBA logo, depicting Johnny Abbarrietos.

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is a professional basketball league in the Philippines founded in 1975. It is the first and the oldest professional basketball league in Asia. The league's rules are a hybrid of FIBA's and the National Basketball Association's rules.

The league is currently headed by Commissioner Sonny Barrios.


The Philippine Basketball Association was founded as a "rebellion" of several teams from the now-defunct Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association which was tightly controlled by the Basketball Association of the Philippines (now defunct), the then-FIBA recognized national association. Nine teams from the MICAA participated in the league's first season that opened in April 9, 1975.

The league's first 10 years was known for the intense rivalry of the Crispa RedmanizersToyota Tamaraws that is still considered as one of the greatest rivalry in league history with big names such as Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Francis Arnaiz, Atoy Co, Bogs Adornado, and Philip Cezar to name a few playing for those squads, before both teams disbanded in 1983 and 1984. and the

Following their disbandment, the league moved from the Araneta Coliseum to ULTRA in Pasig City. There, the league continued to be popular despite several remnants of Toyota and Crispa players suiting up for different teams.

During the mid to late 80's, Jaworski and Ginebra San Miguel became the league's most popular squad for its "never say die" attitude and had intense rivalries with the Tanduay Rhum Masters of Jaworski's then-arch rival Fernandez, and later the expansion Purefoods Corporation of Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, Jojo Lastimosa and Fernandez.

By the end of the 1980's, San Miguel Beer won numerous championships that included the 1989 Grandslam under coach Norman Black and former national team stars Samboy Lim and Hector Calma.

Second PBA logo (Early 1980s-1993)
Second PBA logo (Early 1980s-1993)

In 1990, the league sent its first all-pro squad to the Asian Games finishing a silver medal to China. The PBA would later sent three more all-pro squads in the said event.

The early 90's saw the Ginebra and Shell forming an intense rivalry that included Ginebra's walkout in 1990 finals against Shell and the team's dramatic comeback from a 3-1 deficit to beat Shell in the 1991 Open Conference while Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, and a host of others became the league's main attraction.

By 1993, the league move to the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City and later saw the Alaska Milkmen win the 1996 grandslam and nine titles in the decade.

From 1999-2000, the PBA suffered a controversy after several expatriate cagers arrived on the scene (such as Asi Taulava, Danny Seigle and Eric Menk) and their lineage were questionable with most of the them deported for falsifying documents.

The arrival of dozens of these players was a counter to the fledging Metropolitan Basketball Association, a regional-based pro league formed in 1998. But, the said league eventually folded as expenses and ABS-CBN's abandonment in 2001 led to their demise a year later.

Despite the MBA's disbandment, and the arrival of those players to the PBA, attendance went sour and turned from bad to worst after a huge decline in 2003.

However, the league was able to gain some popularity by 2004, thanks in large part to Barangay Ginebra's run through three PBA championships led by Menk and Mark Caguioa, other marketing aspects and arrival of collegiate stars from the UAAP and the NCAA.

By 2005 the league became active in the national team role under Chot Reyes even when FIBA lifted the suspension of the country following the formation of the BAP-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas despite a ninth place finish in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship.


From 1975-2003, a season was usually composed of three conferences (tournaments). From the 1993 season, the conferences were named All Filipino, Commissioner's and Governors Cups, usually ending in a best-of-7 Finals series match wherein the winner takes the Conference Cup. If the same team wins all of the conferences, the team is said to be the "Grand Slam" champion. A draft was held on January.

In 2004, then-commissioner Noli Eala introduced drastic changes to the season calendar. He reduced the number of conferences from three to two and changed the start of the season from February to October, so that the league can accommodate international tournaments that were frequently held from June to September. Another reason for the change in schedule was the popularity of college hoops, the NCAA and the UAAP, whose basketball season runs from June to October each year.

The first tournament is the Philippine Cup, which is held from October to February the following year, where only locals are allowed to play. The second tournament is the Fiesta Conference, held from March to July, teams are allowed to field one foreign player called an "import". The Philippine Cup is identical to the All-Filipino Conference of the previous seasons. The rookie draft is now usually held every August.


All franchises are owned by corporations, and are not based on a geographic locale, therefore they do not play in a "home stadium" and the league per se rents the different stadiums in which the teams play.

A team's name is often divided into three parts; the first is the company name, then the product (can be omitted or merged with the next part), and a nickname - usually connected to the business of the company. For example, the San Miguel Beermen is a team owned by San Miguel Corporation, with the "beermen" nickname denoting the San Miguel Beer product.

The company name rarely changes - it can only change if the franchise is sold or if the mother company transfers the operations of the franchise into another subsidiary. The product name and the nickname often changes, as companies would maximize the publicity the league gives to its products.


The PBA has a hybrid of FIBA and NBA rules:

  1. A game consists of four 12-minute quarters, the NBA standard.
  2. The three-point line's distance is 20 feet, 6 inches, the FIBA standard. The line was previously 22 feet away from the basket.
  3. The "key" is a trapezoid, the FIBA standard. It was previously the NBA standard rectangular key.
  4. Zone defenses are allowed, the FIBA standard, although illegal defense was implemented before.
  5. A team enters the penalty situation after the fifth foul in a quarter, each successive foul thereafter entitles the fouled player two free-throw attempts. However, in the last two minutes of regulation, both teams are only allowed one foul to give considering the team is not yet in penalty. Team fouls and penalty situations carry over in overtime periods whenever applicable.
  6. Newcomers enter the league via a draft.
  7. Only Filipinos are allowed to play, non-Filipinos can play as "imports", and only on certain conferences. Currently the Fiesta Conference limits imports of one per team, with no height limit; two teams with the worst records after the Philippine Cup eliminations receive an import of unlimited height and another with a height limit of 6'1".

The PBA has also different rules:

  1. If the time left in the game clock is .2 of a second or less, it is automatically shut down and the quarter ends.
  2. In the league, there is a foul called an advantage foul, This is called when an a player is fouled by an opposing player while in a fastbreak situation. The opposing player fouls another player without going for the ball. Then the opposing players team will be given two freethrows and will regain the ball.

Team encounters are a natural phenomenon in the PBA, and this sometimes results in soaring ticket sales. The most famous matchup was the Crispa-Toyota rivalry of the 1970s. Fans faithfully supported their favorite squads, and had appeared in the multitudes at the Araneta Coliseum, or wherever the archrivals had met. In those days, the players were very passionate. On one occasion, they had engaged in a major brawl. Players from both clubs were arrested and detained for one night in jail.

Other famous contests include:

  • Crispa vs Great Taste
  • Ginebra vs Purefoods (late-1980s rivalry, both are now sister teams)
  • Añejo/Ginebra vs Shell (early-1990s rivalry)
  • Purefoods vs. San Miguel (1990s All-Filipino Conference rivalry)
  • Purefoods vs. Alaska (1990s All-Filipino Conference rivalry)
  • Añejo vs San Miguel (late-1980s rivalry, the "sister team" rivalry)
  • Ginebra/Gordon's Gin vs Alaska (late-1990s rivalry)
  • Alaska vs San Miguel (late-90's to the early millenium rivalry)
  • Red Bull vs. the San Miguel franchises (Barangay Ginebra, Magnolia and Purefoods)
  • Air21 Express vs. Talk 'N Text
  • Barangay Ginebra vs. Talk 'N Text

The PBA had been covered by television, as well as other media since its opening day. Their current TV and radio partners are the Associated Broadcasting Company and Sports Radio 918 respectively. Their former radio partner was DZRH 666.The PBA can also be watched worldwide through The Filipino Channel, which will be replaced by GMA Pinoy TV. PLAYING VENUES

A majority of elimination round games are held in the Araneta Coliseum, the Philippines' largest indoor arena, Cuneta Astrodome at Pasay City (both at Metro Manila) and the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. Playoff games are exclusively held at venues in Metro Manila, most especially the Araneta Coliseum.

Provincial games are held on selected locations throughout the country, with most of the games held on a Thursday or a Saturday. Very rarely does a playoff game is held outside Metro Manila, if at all.

All-Star games, on the other hand, are currently rotated between Luzon and Visayas/Mindanao. Metro Manila last hosted the all-star game on 2003; Baguio City and La Union jointly co-hosted the all-star weekend for 2007. Bacolod City hosted the 2008 edition which ran from April 24-27, 2008.

Four games had been held overseas: one each at Jakarta, Indonesia; Hong Kong, China; Guam; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Recently, the league is in a planning stages to build a PBA Coliseum that is rumored either to be located in North EDSA in Quezon City or at the reclamation area beside the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.


Air21 Express logo

The Air21 Express is a Philippine Basketball Association team that began in 2002.

Air21 is owned by Airfreight 2100, a subsidiary of the Lina Group of Companies, owners of the defunct Laguna Lakers of the Metropolitan Basketball Association. The franchise bought the former Tanduay team after the 2001 season.

From its first season until 2005, the team was dubbed as the FedEx Express before changing to its current name a season later.


Tanduay Rhum Masters

The Tanduay Rhum Masters made its PBA return in the 1999 season, after a 12-year hiatus. This time, the team had a new ownership of Asia Brewery of Lucio Tan's son, Bong (The Tanduay team in the 1970's and 80's was owned by the great Elizalde family). After a runner-up finish in the 1999 All-Filipino Conference, the Rhum Masters failed to advanced the finals since. To add insult, the deportation of alleged fil-sham Sonny Alvarado and the indefinite suspensions of Eric Menk and Rudy Hatfield (due to lack of documents to prove themselves as a legitimate Fil-American), the management became frustrated.

After the 2001 season, the firesale began as Tanduay traded Dondon Hontiveros to San Miguel, Jeffrey Cariaso to the new Coca Cola franchise and Menk to Barangay Ginebra. After this, Tanduay sold its franchise of the Bert Lina and the local franchisee of FedEx for a reported sum of PHP 60-75 million.

Technically, the old Tanduay franchise and the current Air21 team's lineage were pulled apart as did most of the other PBA teams (Tanduay/Purefoods, Crispa/Shell, et al.).

Laguna Lakers

In 1998, the Metropolitan Basketball Association was formed as a professional regional basketball league. The Laguna Lakers was one of the 12 original teams in the league with Lina and FedEx owning it.

The Lakers failed to enter the finals in both the 1998 and 1999 seasons. Laguna also added Fil-Americans Rudy Hatfield, Jeff Flowers and Cris Clay to their roster. Biboy Simon, future Air21 point guard Wynne Arboleda and Jovy Sese also played for the Lakers, Simon was known for his 54 point outing during an MBA game.

In 2000, the Lakers advanced to the finals of the special Intra-Conference tournament but lost to the San Juan Knights. In 2001, they also failed to advanced to the National championship.

After the sale of Tanduay to FedEx, the Lakers abandoned the league to concentrate on their PBA stint.

There is absolutely no lineage between the Laguna Lakers' MBA franchise and the current PBA franchise despite having the same owners.

2002-2005: FedEx Express

After the purchase, they named the team as the FedEx Express. The Express monicker was used as a reference to their company's role in fast-paced delivery.

In the 2002 PBA Draft, the Express hold the first overall pick in the draft. Initially, the FedEx expressed its desire to draft MBA star Rommel Adducul, but his MBA team the Batangas Blades deny Adducul's request of a release. With this, FedEx nabbed St Francis of Assisi center Yancy de Ocampo as the first pick in the draft. Also in the first round, the Express landed De La Salle University star Renren Ritualo with the eight pick. Jerry Codinera was also added to the team along with a few holdovers from Tanduay.

Many-time amateur and commercial league champion coach Derrick Pumaren was named as the first head coach of the FedEx team. He was the last coach of the Tanduay franchise in the PBA before it was absorbed by FedEx.

Former Tanduay forward Bong Hawkins was among those absorbed by the FedEx franchise in 2002. However, a controversy sparked Hawkins and FedEx management. The former Perpetual Help standout wanted to have the same terms of the salary he held with Tanduay while FedEx management was basing the contract on a written one. In the end, Hawkins eventually joined Coca-Cola in 2003.

FedEx's first-ever match was an opening game against the Coca Cola Tigers which they lost. At that time, Ritualo was loaned the RP National pool. The Express also added Bong Alvarez in the lineup. along with Jermaine Walker as one of the imports. The Express made it to the quarterfinals of the Governors Cup but was quickly eliminated. In the Commissioners Cup, Ritualo made his much-awaited debut with FedEx but the Express once again failed to enter past the semis. Alvarez left the team for the Talk N' Text Phone Pals, but acquired the services of Vergel Meneses from Barangay Ginebra. In the All-Filipino, FedEx failed to enter the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Ritualo was named as the Rookie of the Year after the season, to spark a promising future for the team.

In 2003, the Express nabbed former MBA MVP John Ferriols in the draft. The Express finished with an impressive second place finish in the elimination round of the All-Filipino Cup. In the quarterfinals, the Express failed to enter the semis after finishing in last place of the single-round robin quarterfinals phase.

Their performance in the All-Filipino, earned the team an early entry to the PBA Invitational tournament. The Express placed third in the special tournament, earning the team its first trophy in the league.

In the Reinforced Conference, the Express bannered Terrence Shannon as import. However, in the opening round they were eliminated by San Miguel. During the said tournament, Pumaren was fired and was replaced by former Lakers coach Bonnie Garcia.

During the 2004 PBA Draft, FedEx nabbed three picks in the first round with Marc Pingris, Ranidel de Ocampo and Wesley Gonzales. In the Fiesta Conference, the Express ended up in ninth place and was eliminated by the Talk N' Text Phone Pals in the Wild-Card phase. A coaching change also happened when Garcial was replaced by legendary coach Joe Lipa.

Meneses was shipped to Red Bull Barako during the offseason for Homer Se and a draft pick.

In the 2004-2005 Philippine Cup, the Express once again finished fourth in the classification phase and was eliminated early by the Alaska Aces.

Lipa resigned after the tournament and was replaced by former Indonesian national team mentor Bong Ramos (a Filipino). They also fielded former NBA veteran Oliver "Pig" Miller for the Fiesta Conference.

The Express finished fifth in the classification phase. It was highlighted by Renren Ritualo's eight three pointers in a quarter during a game. However, in the Wild-Card phase, they were eliminated by Purefoods.

Air21 Express

During the offseason, the Express renamed the team as the Air21 Express, when FedEx left the country. Ramos resigned at season's end, due to his failure to imply the team's policy. However, many believe that there were other reasons for the resignation.

Former Laguna Lakers head coach Bo Perasol was named as the replacement. Air21 had three picks in the first round. They nabbed PBL star Anthony Washington as the first pick and De La Salle University star Mark Cardona as the fifth pick overall. But, the Express traded Washington and Cardona in separate deals to Talk 'N Text for Yancy de Ocampo and Patrick Fran, respectively, amid criticisms by various people. The other pick went to University of the East star Niño Canaleta.

But Air21 made a strong showing in the 2005-2006 Fiesta Conference. With Perasol as coach and bulky import Shawn Daniels at the helm, the Express surprised everyone with several upsets against Talk 'N Text and San Miguel to finish fourth in the classification phase. Air21 eliminated San Miguel in the wildcard phase and upset the Phone Pals in a five-game quarterfinals affair. However, in six games they were eliminated by Purefoods in the semi-finals. At the end of the conference, Air21 defeated the Barangay Ginebra Kings to capture third place in the tournament.

In the Philippine Cup, the Express acquired Mark Telan from the Talk N' Text Phone Pals for John Ferriols. On May 8, the team traded its franchise player Ritualo to the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals for Leo Avenido and two future first round picks. Some basketball fans see this trade as another rebuilding mode for the team while others speculate about a potential cost-cutting for the Express for its impending disbandment although there is no accuracy of this possibility.

However, since the Ritualo trade, the Express went 3-1 the rest of the classification phase to finish with a 7-9 record. The surge saw the improvement of Air21 rookie Canaleta, who had multiple 30-point games during the streak. However, the Express failed to beat the Coca-Cola Tigers in a one game playoff for the third outright quarterfinals berth. The loss relegated Air21 in a round-robin wildcard phase. In the deciding game, Ginebra beat the Express, 118-114 in overtime, to eliminate them from contention.

2006-07 season

In the offseason, the Express acquired Aries Dimaunahan and Ervin Sotto from the Ginebra as part of a huge three-team trade along with the Coca-Cola Tigers. In the 2006 PBA Draft, Air21 selected Arwind Santos of the FEU Tamaraws and the PBL's Magnolia Ice Cream with the second overall pick. Stephen Padilla and Bruce Dacia's contract were not renewed by the team.

After a so-so performance at the Philippine Cup, the Express eked out a 7-11 record, good enough for a return trip to the wildcard phase. Needing to sweep all of the games in order to force a playoff for a quarterfinal berth, the Express defeated all wildcard teams. In the elimination game against Sta. Lucia, the Express came up short as they were beaten 121-118 via overtime.

Before the start of the wildcard phase, Air21 sent Yancy de Ocampo and Leo Avenido to Talk N Text for rookies Mark Andaya and Abby Santos plus future draft picks.

Air21 had talks with former Senator and the PBA's Living Legend Robert Jaworski to either accept a capacity within the team or as head coach before his beg prior to the start of the Fiesta Conference.

Still, the Express finished with a 10-8 record for fifth place in the standings with Shawn Daniels as import. At one point, Air21 was 7-3 before losing five of their last eight games, before beating San Miguel in a one-game playoff for the third outright quarterfinals berth.

The Talk N' Text Phone Pals defeated them in the quarters in a full three-game series, despite the Express' Game 1 victory.

2007-08 season

The offseason saw Air21 taking Ateneo teammates JC Intal and Doug Kramer selected in the first round while nabbing Marvin Cruz in the final round of the 2007 PBA Draft.

The buzz about Jaworski coaching the team once again came to light but the 'Living Legend' has not made any decision on it. This kept Perasol as its head coach for the 2007-08 season. The Express had a rocky 2007-08 PBA Philippine Cup, finishing the elimination round with a 7-11 record tied for 8th (they were eventually seeded 8th since they've beaten team they're tied with, the Coca-Cola Tigers, in the elimination round twice).

In the ensuing wildcard phase, the Express eliminated the defending champions Barangay Ginebra Kings, thanks to Wynne Arboleda's career-high 32 points. However, they were beaten by the Tigers in the last wildcard round to be eliminated from contention.

In the on-going 2008 PBA Fiesta Conference, the Air21 express are in-contention for the title. The 6-9 hulking import Steve Thomas is leading the team together with their main local player Gary David. Also with the help of KG Canaleta, Arwind Santos, Wynne Arboleda, Ranidel de Ocampo and others, the team finished the elimination round as the #1 seed.

Since the game of Gary David came back, the Express record was 7 - 2 (win - loss). Gary David is the local leading scorer of the express with 14.1 ppg, with Arwind Santos followed with 13.9 ppg.

The team defeated Magnolia Beverage Masters in the semi-finals 4-2. Air21 will be making their first PBA finals appearance. They're going against the 7 time champion and crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra Kings. Air21 lost to Barangay Ginebra Kings in 7 games.

Gary David finished the Season averaging 16.00 ppg and 3 rpg. While his back-up partner Arwind Santos finished the Season closed to 14 ppg with 8 rpg.

On the other hand, Steve Thomas promise to comeback next fiesta cup.


PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

Other notable players

  • Bong Alvarez - played for FedEx in 2002
  • Yancy de Ocampo - played for FedEx/Air21 franchise from 2002-2003, 2005-2006; team's first-ever draft choice and had two stints with the team.
  • Dindo Pumaren (San Beda) - played his last PBA season with FedEx in 2002
  • Ren-Ren Ritualo (La Salle) - played for FedEx/Air21 franchise from 2002-2006, and present; currently holds almost every team records such as total points


  • Steven Thomas - currently leading Air21 to its 1st ever outright semi-finals berth and to the first ever franchise championship since 2002.Leading candidate for best player of the conference.
  • Shawn Daniels - led Air21 to a third-place finish in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference
  • Alvin Jefferson - known for breaking the Araneta Coliseum backboard in a preseason game but played only two games in the 2004 Fiesta Conference
  • Franz Pierre-Louis - played for FedEx in the 2002 Commissioners Cup
  • Anthony 'Pig' Miller - played for FedEx in the 2005 Fiesta Conference
  • Roderick Rhodes - one of the first two imports in team history
  • Geremy Robinson - played as a replacement import for one game
  • Terrence Shannon - played for FedEx in the 2003 Reinforced Conference
  • Jermaine Walker - played for FedEx in the 2002 season

Player Awards

  • Gary David- Most Improved Player (2006-2007), Defensive Player of the Year(2006-2007), 1st Mythical Team(2006-2007), Sportsmanship Award(2006-2007)
  • Arwind Santos- 2007 Rookie-Sophomore Blitz Game MVP, Rookie of the Year(2007), 1st mytical 5(2007-2008)
  • Wynne Arboleda- 1st Defensive Team (2007-2008)
  • Derrick Pumaren (2002-2003)
  • Bonnie Garcia (2003-2004)
  • Joe Lipa (2004-2005)
  • Bong Ramos (2005)
  • Bo Perasol (2005-Present)


Alaska Aces logo

The Alaska Aces is a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) team since 1986 under the ownership of Alaska Milk Corporation and the recently champions of the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference.

They are known for winning nine PBA championships in the 1990s, including a rare grand slam (winning three championships in one season) during the 1996 season, joining the Crispa Redmanizers (1976, 1983) and the San Miguel Beermen (1989) as one of only three franchises to achieve the feat.


1986: First season

After the temporary departure of the Magnolia team prior to the start of the 1986 season, the league reduced to only five teams. Alaska Milk Corporation of American owner Wilfred Uytengsu was accepted as the league's sixth team before the start of the 1986 season in April. Alaska acquired several holdovers from the old Magnolia team (Marte Saldana, Rudy Distrito and Biboy Ravanes among others) for their inaugural campaign.

Alaska's imports for the 1986 Reinforced Conference were former Utah Jazz Jerry Lee Eaves and former Toyota import Donnie Ray Koonce.

In its very first conference, Alaska would place third behind Tanduay, Great Taste, and Ginebra.

Norman Black stayed with Alaska as its import for the Open Conference teaming up with an import by the name of Mike Morrison.

A list of the 1986 Alaska lineup is listed on this.

  • Dennis Abbatuan
  • Teodocio 'Teddy' Alfarero †
  • Alejo 'Pongkee' Alolor
  • Noli Banate
  • Reynaldo 'Rey' Cuenco †
  • Rudy Distrito
  • Frankie Lim
  • Reynaldo Ramos Jr.
  • Ricardo 'Ricky' Relosa
  • Marte Saldaña
  • Arnulfo 'Arnie' Tuadles †
  • Ludovico 'Naning' Valenciano
  • Norman Black (Import)
  • Donnie Ray Koonce
  • Jerry Lee Eaves
  • Keith Morrison

1987: Hills Bros. Coffee Kings

In 1987, Alaska Milk changed its name to the Hills Bros. Coffee Kings. After Manila Beer's disbandment, the Coffee Kings acquired Yoyoy Villamin to form a bruising tandem with Ricky Relosa, known as the "Bruise Brothers".

They also had former Crispa shooter William "Bogs" Adornado to banner the team, although the former three-time MVP was already slowing down at the time.

The All-Filipino saw the team finally jelling, with the emergence of the "Bruise Brothers" combination of Villamin and Relosa. It entered the Finals, where it got swept 3-0 by Great Taste Coffee. Despite the sweep, it was a brutal, physical Finals series with Villamin and Relosa being matched up against Great Taste's "Royal Brothers" Abe King and "Prince" Philip Cezar.

By virtue of its runner-up finish, Hills Bros. participated in the first PBA-IBA World Championship Cup. It finished third, behind the Los Angeles Cougars (which had future Alaska import Sean Chambers in its line-up) and Great Taste Coffee.

Reinforced Conference saw Hills Bros. parading a sweet-shooting import by the name of Jose Slaughter. On October 18, 1987 in a game which Hills Bros. won over Great Taste 129-115, Jose Slaughter scored 79 points, the most ever scored by an Alaska/Hills Bros. player in a game. He also scored 14 three point field goals.

The team also made the Finals, losing however to the Bobby Parks-reinforced San Miguel Beermen 4-1.

By the end of the year, Villamin and Relosa would be named the All-Defensive team. Villamin would also be named most improved player, the same award won by Ricky Relosa the year before. Nat Canson and former Tanduay bench tactician Turo Valenzona were the team's head coach during the '87 campaign.

After that year, Adornado announced his retirement from the league, his jersey no. 33 was retired and was hung in the rafters of the ULTRA during the opening of the 1988 season. He was first player in Alaska/Hills Bros franchise to have his number retired and was later named as the team's coach.

1988-1990: Alaska Air Force

In 1988, the team reverted back to the Alaska name with the Air Force monicker. Some believe that the nickname was a sort of Uytengsu's support for the US soldiers that were based in Olongapo at that time.

The Air Force finished third place in both the Open and All-Filipino Conferences but failed to place more than fourth in the season-ending Reinforced Conference.

Before the 1989, Alaska acquired three players in what many believed as the richest drafts in league history. Bong Alvarez, Ric-Ric Marata and Boy Cabahug were taken from the draft. Same as a year before, Alaska won two third place trophies in the Open and Reinforced Conferences.

1991-1999: Alaska Milkmen

Alaska Milkmen logo from 1991 to 2000
Alaska Milkmen logo from 1991 to 2000

Arrival of Tim Cone

In 1989, American Earl Timothy Cone became the new coach of the Air Force after Adornado was fired during the season (owner Uytensu coached a won ballgame for the team). The year also saw the debut of Sean Chambers as Alaska's import.

In 1990, Alaska advanced in the finals of the Third Conference against a young PurefoodsAteneo. But in later years, Araneta was considered a bust and was out of the league by 1997. team. Their imports then were Carlos Clark and Chambers. After a 2-0 lead in the Best-of-five series, Alaska suffered one of the biggest collapses in league history as Purefoods won the next three games to win the title. The team had the top pick in the draft and grabbed Alex Araneta out of

In 1991, Eugene Quilban joined Alaska from the rookie draft to bolster the Alaska squad. Jojo Lastimosa was acquired after being taken from Purefoods in a trade with Elmer Cabahug. After a third-place showing in the All-Filipino, they returned to the finals of the Third Conference against crowd-favorite Ginebra San Miguel and former Laker Wes Matthews. Alvarez, Lastimosa and their teammates dominated the series that saw them winning it, 3 games to 1 for their first title in team history.

Alvarez was then eased out of the team, when his one-on-one style didn't suit the new offensive scheme being enforced by Tim Cone - the triangle offense. Quilban later left Alaska for 7-Up, in which he led the team to a finals loss to Swift.

Alaska managed one third place finish in 1992. In the 1993 draft, the Milkmen drafted Far Eastern University point guard Johnny Abarrientos, an energetic and exciting little man who can drive to the basket against taller opponents. The Milkmen never won a trophy during their '93 campaign.

In 1994, Alaska acquired Bong Hawkins from Sta Lucia which helped "The Hawk" resurrect his career. Alaska lost to Purefoods in the Commissioner's Cup Finals. In the Governor's Cup, Alaska defeated Swift to win their third PBA title with Abarrientos, Lastimosa, Hawkins and import Sean Chambers leading the team.

In 1995, Alaska got Jeffrey Cariaso from the draft and added center Edward Juinio to the team. Alaska made it to the Finals of all conferences of 1995. In the All-Filipino, they lost a seven-game tussle against Sunkist. In the rematch, the Ronnie Grandison led Juicers once again powered the Derrick Hamilton-led Alaska to win the Commissioner's Cup crown. But, in the Governor's Cup, the Milkmen overcame a 2-3 deficit to defeat San Miguel in seven games with a strong performance by Lastimosa. Jeffrey Cariaso won Rookie of the Year honors at the end of this year.

1996 Grand Slam

In the All-Filipino Conference, the Milkmen defeated the Purefoods TJ Hotdogs team of Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codinera in five games. In the series-clincher, Jeffrey Cariaso was fouled in the final second on an inbound play. Cariaso sank both free-throws to seal Alaska's first title of the year.

Their toughest championship series was in the Commissioner's Cup Finals against a tough Formula Shell team of Benjie Paras, Victor Pablo, and import Kenny Redfield. After six grueling games, the Milkmen captured the seventh and final game to win their fifth title in franchise history with Johnny Abarrientos, Jojo Lastimosa and Bong Hawkins leading the team alongside import Sean Chambers, who came in to replace Derrick Hamilton midway through the conference.

Chambers returned for Alaska in the Governor's Cup and for the eighth straight time since 1994, Alaska was back in the Finals against crowd-favorite Ginebra San Miguel who ousted sister team San Miguel in the semis. But it was a one-sided affair as the Milkmen went to win the first three games of the series before defeating Ginebra in Game five to capture the feat.

By season's end, Hawkins, Lastimosa and Cariaso were included in the Mythical team while Abarrientos became the smallest man in PBA history to capture the coveted Most Valuable Player award.

Post-grand slam

Alaska suffered one of the biggest losses prior to the 1997 season when Jeffrey Cariaso signed with new PBA franchise, Pepsi Cola . The Milkmen failed to enter the semis of the All-Filipino Cup. In the Commissioner's Cup, the first ten games of the tournament was bannered by former Ginebra import Sylvester Gray. He was eventually replaced by Kevin Holland and the Milkmen advanced to the Finals against Gordon's Gin Boars. The Boars took a 3-0 series lead but Alaska managed to win the next two games to cut the deficit to 3-2. However, Gordon's won Game Six as Alaska fell short again. In the Governor's Cup, they landed Kenneth Duremdes from Pop Cola and the 24 year old slasher became a perfect replacement for Jeffrey Cariaso and a perfect running mate for Lastimosa and Abarrientos. Alaska, with Chambers once again as import, defeated Purefoods to win the title in five games.

In 1998, Alaska traded for former San Sebastian Star and slasher, Rodney Santos from the Purefoods TJ Hotdogs. Alaska then dominated the All-Filipino Cup and took on San Miguel in the finals. The Beermen led 3-2 after a strong showing by Nelson Asaytono in game five. But, Alaska won the next two games to capture another title.

Dreadlock-wearing Devin Davis powered Alaska in the Commissioners Cup, winning Best Import honors. The team advanced to the finals in a rematch against the Beermen. Duremdes was named as the Best Player of the Conference while defeating San Miguel in six games for their ninth title despite losing Bong Hawkins to a season-ending injury.

Already, several people were hyping a possible 'Grand Slam II' for the team. But, with the 1998 Asian Games set in December and Cone was named head coach, he tapped Abarrientos, Duremdes and Lastimosa to lead the Philippine team.

Assistants Jun Reyes and Dickey Bachmann took over for Alaska. But despite a strong showing by from slasher, Rodney Santos and shooter, Roel Gomez, the Milkmen failed to enter the semis of both the special 1998 PBA Centennial Cup and the season-ending Governors Cup.

Duremdes was named the Most Valuable Player at the end of the year, the second Alaska Milkman to win the coveted individual award.

With the arrival of some talented Filipino-American cagers in the league, the Milkmen opted to stick with the same core for the 1999 season. In the All-Filipino, the Milkmen was eliminated by expansion team Tanduay in the semis.

In the Commissioner's Cup, Devin Davis made his return to the team, but the young San Miguel team of Danny Ildefonso and Danny Seigle eliminated the Aces in five games. They finished third in the tournament.

Alaska advanced to the Finals of the Governor's Cup with Chambers at the helm but San Miguel led by Lamont Strothers defeated the Milkmen in six games despite Alaska getting an early 2-1 series lead.

In 2000, Jojo Lastimosa was traded to Pop Cola as part of the team's future plan to rebuild. Alaska won their 10th PBA title at the expense of Purefoods in the All-Filipino Conference. Purefoods won Game one of this series but the Milkmen won the next four games to win the series.

The Milkmen failed to enter the Finals of the Commissioner's Cup after they were eliminated by Beermen in the semi-finals.

2000-Present: Alaska Aces

As part of the league's move to strengthen its marketing through the PBA Properties, Alaska adopted a new monicker in the Alaska Aces (curiosly, the PBA team came up with the "Alaska Aces" name first, since the Anchorage Aces of Anchorage, Alaska was renamed only on 2003) replaced its original logo and uniforms to a more cartoonish-look which they still have today. Despite the change, however, Alaska failed to reach the Finals of the Governor's Cup once again.

Before the 2001 season, the Aces traded popular star Johnny Abarrientos to the Pop Cola Panthers for forward Ali Peek and guard Jon Ordonio. In the draft, Alaska used the fifth pick to draft fil-am John Arigo. The Aces also signed Duremdes to a reported 48 million peso deal for seven years.

In the All-Filipino, the Aces were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Abarrientos and Pop Cola. In the Commissioners Cup, a strong showing by Peek gave defending champion San Miguel a fight but still loss in five games of the semis. In the Governors Cup, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Chambers retired three games into the Governors Cup. In a simple ceremony, the Aces retired his #20 jersey, becoming the second player in team history to have his number retired.

Duremdes was borrowed by the Philippine National Team in 2002 and Lastimosa made his return to Alaska. The Aces, with Ron Riley and Montreal Dobbins as imports, but after 6 games, Dobbins was replaced by James Head, advanced to the finals of the Governor's Cup against Purefoods. The Aces led 2-0 in the seven game series, but the TJ Hotdogs won the next three games. After Alaska tied it up in Game Six, Purefoods won Game seven to deny the Aces its 11th title. In the Commissioner's Cup, Ajani Williams and Chris Carawell bannered the Aces but was eliminated by Talk N' Text in the semi-finals. Duremdes returned for the Aces in the All-Filipino and made it to the finals. After winning Game 1, the Aces lost the next three games to settle another runner-up finish.

In the 2003 PBA Draft, Alaska shocked the league by trading their superstar, Kenneth Duremdes to the Sta. Lucia Realtors for the fifth pick of the first round. This enabled Alaska to get Brandon Cablay as the team's top draft pick.

The Aces also held the first overall pick in the draft and selected De La Salle University-Manila star point guard Mike Cortez, who was considered as the next great point guard in the Alaska franchise's history, following Johnny Abarrientos.

During halftime of their season opening game, Alaska retired Jojo Lastimosa's #6 jersey. During the offseason, Lastimosa announced his retirement after playing 15 seasons in the league. He is currently one of the team's assistant coaches.

In the All-Filipino, Alaska failed in its bid to enter the Finals as they were eliminated by Talk N' Text in a grueling five-game series.

In the Invitational tournament, Alaska had to play in the qualifying round to enter the tournament. The Aces swept the elimination round, winning all four of its games, to make it to the semis. In a one-game showdown, Alaska defeated Red Bull Barako to face Coca Cola in the Finals.

The Tigers won Game One of the series, but the Aces won the next two games to win their 11th PBA title, this time with a different set of players. Brandon Cablay was named as Finals MVP, while Ali Peek won Best Player of the Conference honors.

In the Reinforced Conference, Alaska struggled in the tournament and was eliminated by Duremdes and Sta. Lucia in the quarters.

Alaska paraded former NBA journeyman Galen Young for the 2004 Fiesta Conference. The Aces placed second after the elimination round of the tournament. But, they failed to enter the finals of the said tournament winning only one game in three outings in the semi-finals.

In the 2004-05 season, the Aces managed to finished fourth in the qualifying round. After eliminating FedEx in the Wild-Card phase, they were swept by San Miguel in the quarters. During the tournament, Arigo and Peek were shipped to Coca-Cola for Jeffrey Cariaso and Reynel Hugnatan. Bong Hawkins also made his return to the Aces, reuniting him with Cariaso, assistant coach Jojo Lastimosa and Cone.

Alaska hired Leon Derricks for the Fiesta Conference. However, his inconsistent game led to his replacement by former Chicago Bull Dickey Simpkins. The addition of Simpkins helped Alaska climbed into third place at the end of the classification round. The Aces faced San Miguel Beer in the semis. A back injury sustained by Simpkins, after being elbowed in the back by Dorian Pena, prevented him from playing at full strength during the series. Former Alaska Ace, Bryan Gahol, hit the last second shot in Game three to eliminate Alaska from the tournament.

2005-06 season

Prior to the start of the 2005-06 PBA season, the Aces built up their lineup by acquiring national team pool members, Tony Dela Cruz and Rich Alvarez from the disbanding Shell Turbo Chargers. The Aces also acquired the services of former Mobiline and Coca-Cola import Artemus "Tee" McClary for the Fiesta Conference.

After the Aces placed second behind Team Pilipinas in the Brunei Sultan's Cup, with Dela Cruz playing for the said team, the team was considered as one of the top contenders to win the upcoming season.

However, the Aces went on a slide after a good start. After Alaska blowing a 28-point lead and losing to the Purefoods Chunkee Giants, the team went on a downhill since. With McClary's decline starting to show, he was eventually replaced by the 3-point shotting,Odell Bradley, who showed some impressive scoring outputs. However, Alaska still finished seventh in the classification phase with a 7-9 record.

The Aces swept Sta. Lucia in a best-of-three matchup in the wildcard phase before being swept in a best-of-five affair by eventual champion Red Bull Barako.

Weeks before the start of the Philippine Cup, Alaska traded Brandon Cablay to San Miguel in exchange for veteran Nic Belasco. On May 8, 2006, the Aces traded Don Allado to Talk 'N Text for guard Willie Miller and forward John Ferriols. Alaska finished with a 9-7 record in the classifications, thus earning an outright berth in the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, the Aces defeated the Coca-Cola Tigers, with former Alaska star Johnny Abarrientos on the squad, 3-1. The opening game of the series saw Alaska winning on a last second three-pointer by Nic Belasco.

In the semi-finals against top-seed Purefoods Chunkee Giants, the Aces led 3-1 and was a win away from a finals berth but failed to win all of the remaining games. Alaska would end the tournament on a winning note, capturing the third place trophy with a 102-95 win over San Miguel, their 12th third-place finish in team history.

2006-07 season: Fiesta Conference Champions

Head coach Tim Cone signed a contract extension to remain with the team, erasing speculation of his possible dismissal. In the 2006 PBA Draft, Alaska selected Letran's Aaron Aban and UST's Christian Luanzon.

Alaska started the 2006-07 PBA Philippine Cup poorly but rebounded to finish with an 8-10 record for a wildcard berth. After losing in a last-second overtime thriller against Coca-Cola, and a win by Sta. Lucia on the next game date eliminated Alaska from contention despite winning their last game against Sta. Lucia.

Injuries to Reynel Hugnatan and Mike Cortez affected the team's play throughout the said conference.

However, Alaska started the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference with a 7-4 card before the All-Star break, with Rosell Ellis as their import. Shooting Guard, Willie Miller provided a strong performance for the Aces during the tournament posting numerous 20 point-games.

The return of Cortez sparked a late surge by the team by finishing with a 12-6 record and beat Ginebra in a one-game playoff to earn an outright semifinals berth.

After eliminating the San Miguel Beermen in the semifinals via a 4-2 series win, the Aces entered the finals for a 19th time to meet the Talk N' Text Phone Pals.

Despite a 1-2 and a 2-3 deficit in the titular showdown, Miller, named the league's Most Valuable Player, erupted for 29 points to tie the series in Game 4 and recovered from a dismal performance in Game 5 with a sterling 37-point output in Game 6 to force a decider.

The seventh game was a seesaw battle before Miller fired a go-ahead layup in the last two minutes to seal a 99-96 championship win for Alaska.

2007-08 season

Alaska picked Adamson stalwart, Ken Bono, and University of Visayas Green Lancers starting center, JR "Baby Shaq" Quiñahan as the 6th and 7th overall picks of the 2007 PBA Draft along with second round selection Ardy Larong.

In order to free up some cap spaces, the team traded veteran forward Nic Belasco to Welcoat in exchange for Junjun Cabatu while signing free agent Ariel Capus.

In the 2007-08 Philippine Cup, the Aces lost at the semis against Sta. Lucia.

Before the start of the Fiesta Conference, Alaska acquired former King Blue Eagles L.A. Tenorio and Larry Fonacier in exchange for ace point guard Mike Cortez and 1st round draft pick Ken Bono. They also tapped former Chicago Bull and Talk N' Text import Randy Holcomb as their reinforcement to help them defend the crown. Alaska, started slowly winning only 2 of their 6 matches including a 4-game losing streak. Fans were dissapointed when the team sticked with Holcomb - who is to blame why the team is not progressing well because of his inconsistent plays. Then came a rumor that Holcomb will be replaced by former Milwaukee Buck Daniel Santiago. However, it was confirmed that the rumors were not true and they are not in negotiations with the Puerto Rico National team Starting Center. Alaska came on to a conference high 6-game winning streak and made their record to 8-6 and has a chance of getting a semi-final seat, credited the players including Holcomb to it's key of success.

In their 2nd round game against Magnolia, Alaska was trailing along the way until the final minute which they came in and even grabbed the lead, but Alaska's semi-final dream came to an end when a lousy call by the referee with 0.3 seconds left and the game was tied at 99 all. Former Alaska Ace Mike Cortez split his freethrows to give Magnolia a one point lead.. However, Larry Fonacier's jumper went in front of the rim as time expires as Magnolia escaped with a nail-bitting 100-99 win over the defending champions.

Alaska lost 2 more crucial games. Against Ginebra, they couldn't hold of a 10 point lead and the Kings route to a win which brought them to the quarter finals and Alaska was forced to play in the Wild Card against Philippine Cup champions Sta. Lucia Realtors. Alaska lost to the Realtors in a blow-out game that would eliminate them of the conference joining the Welcoat Dragons.

2008-09 season

In the 2008 Annual Rookie Draft held on August 31, 2008 at Market! Market!, Taguig City, Alaska drafted scoring guard Solomon Mercado at no.5 in the first round and grabbing Mapua star Kelvin Dela Peña also at no.5 this time in the second round. A day after the draft, The team acquired last year's first overall pick and team leading scorer Joe Devance from Rain or Shine (formerly Welcoat Dragons) in exchange for Solomon Mercado and swingman Eddie Laure.

On September 4, 2008, the team signed 2004 2nd overall pick Ervin Sotto.


PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

  • Johnny Abarrientos - "The Flying A" played for team from 1993-2000; led Alaska to numerous PBA title and was the 1996 PBA Most Valuable Player
  • Bogs Adornado - played for Hills Bros in the 1987 season; became the team's coach after his retirement
  • Kenneth Duremdes - "Captain Marbel" played for the team from 1997-2002; led Alaska to four PBA titles and was the 1998 PBA Most Valuable Player
  • Abet Guidaben - played for the team from 1989-1990 before being traded to Pepsi for Harmon Codinera.
  • Jojo Lastimosa - "The Helicopter" led Alaska to nine PBA titles and was named to numerous Mythical team selections

Not to be forgetten

  • Peter Aguilar
  • Dino Aldeguer
  • Don Carlos Allado - played for Alaska from 1999-2006; member of the 2000 All-Filipino and 2003 Invitational tournament championship teams
  • Eric Altamirano
  • Bong Alvarez - "Mr. Excitement" scored a then-PBA record 71 points for Alaska
  • Dondon Ampalayo
  • Josel Angeles
  • Alex Araneta - the #1 draft pick in 1991.
  • John Arigo - played for Alaska from 2001-2004; member of the 2003 Invitational tournament championship team
  • Dicky Bachmann
  • Rensy Bajar - member of 2006-2007 Fiesta Conference Champions
  • Cris Bolado - played for Alaska during its title runs in the 1990s; most notably known as being the team's 12th man; known for his nine straight finals appearance with multiple teams, including the Milkmen
  • Boy Cabahug - the 1989 PBA All Star MVP is the current head coach of University of Visayas
  • Brandon Cablay - played for Alaska from 2003-2006; member of the 2003 Invitational tournament championship team and was named Finals MVP, 2003 PBA ALl-Star Slam Dunk Champion, 2004 PBA All-Star Trick Shot champion
  • Ronnie Cahanding
  • Johnedel Cardel
  • Merwin Castello - member of the 1996 Alaska Championship team
  • Alvin Castro - member of the 2003 Invitational Champions: member of the 2006-2007 Fiesta Conference Champions
  • Ed Cordero
  • Harmon Codiñera
  • Tim Coloso
  • Mike Cortez - 2003 1st overall pick, member of the 2003 Invitational cup and 2007 Fiesta Conference Champions, Mythical 2nd team
  • Rudy Distrito - "The Destroyer" was member of the 1986 Alaska team that played its first season in the league
  • Kenny Evans
  • Boyet Fernandez - current head coach of Sta. Lucia Realtors
  • Nandy Garcia
  • Roehl Gomez - played for Alaska during its title runs in the 1990s, most notably known for his three-point shooting; always put in the last few minutes when Alaska was trailing in hopes of offense; won a Three-Point Shooting Competition in the All-Star Games
  • Nap Hatton
  • Bong Hawkins - "The Hawk"
  • Rob Johnson
  • Bobby Jose - "The Firecracker"
  • Dwight Lago - member of 1996 Alaska Grand Slam Team
  • Eddie Laure - member of 2007 Fiesta Conference Champions
  • Rey Lazaro
  • Braulio Lim
  • Christian Luanzon
  • Pops Manaog
  • Ric-Ric Marata
  • Michael Otto
  • Stephen Padilla - a former Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) player, played for Cebu Gems. A Cebu native player who is also known for his 3point range. He currently plays for ML-Kwarta Padala in a local Cebu league.
  • Willie Pearson
  • Ali Peek - played for Alaska from 2001-2004; member of the 2003 Invitational tournament championship team and was named the Best Player of the Conference
  • Giovanni Pineda
  • Dong Polistico - when the team drafted him in 1988, he was the tallest player in the PBA at that time standing at 6'7". This was later eclipsed in 1993 by the 6'9" Bonel Balingit.
  • Bryant Punsalan
  • Eugene Quilban - played his first season with the team in 1991 leading Alaska to the Third Conference title
  • Kevin Ramas -member of 1996 Alaska Grand Slam Team
  • Biboy Ravanes - current assistant coach of San Miguel Beermen
  • Ricky Relosa - known as one-half of the famed Bruise Brothers tandem together with Yoyoy Villamin
  • Jun Reyes - played as backup point guard before joining the team's coaching staff
  • Marte Saldana - played for Alaska in the team's 1986 squad
  • Rodney Santos - played for Alaska from 1997-2002; member of four Alaska title teams
  • Dale Singson - member of 2006-2007 Fiesta Conference Champions
  • Stevenson Solomon
  • Jack Tanuan (†)
  • Alvin Teng - "Robocop"
  • Ritchie Ticzon - current assistant coach of Coca Cola Tigers.
  • Macky Torres
  • Yoyoy Villamin - "The Bicolano Superman" known as one-half of the famed Bruise Brothers tandem together with Ricky Relosa; almost won the 1987 PBA Most Valuable Player award.
  • Richard Alvarez
  • Jon Ordoño - Kobe Bryant look alike acquired from a trade from Pop Cola
  • Joey Loyzaga
  • Celedon Camaso
  • Bryan Gahol
  • Robert Duat
  • James Walkvist
  • Migs Noble
  • Noli Locsin - known as the tank
  • Ej Feihl - tallest player to play in the league standing at 7 feet
  • Willy Wilson


  • Terrance Badgett - played for Alaska in the 2001 Commissioners Cup
  • Norman Black - played for Alaska in 1986
  • Willie Bland
  • Dexter Boney - played 2 games after Sean Chambers' retirement.
  • Odelle Bradley - played for Alaska in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference
  • Marques Braggs - played for Alaska during the 1990s
  • Monty Buckley - played for Alaska in the 1998 season
  • Chris Carawell - played for Alaska alongside Ajani Williams in the 2002 Commissioner's Cup. Led Alaska to a Third-place finish. Came back and played for Alaska once again for the 2003 Governor's cup
  • Sean Chambers - led Alaska to numerous titles during his 10-plus year tenure with the team. Considered as the best import ever played for Alaska. His jersey No. 20 was retired. No Alaska Ace can ever use the No. 20 again.
  • Carlos Clark - played for Alaska alongside Sean Chambers in the 1990 Reinforced Conference. Led team to a runner-up finish in the Finals.
  • Winston Crite - "the Human Eraser" played for Alaska in 1992.
  • Devin Davis - led Alaska to the 1998 Commissioners Cup title and was named as the Best Import of the Conference
  • Leon Derricks - played a few games in the 2005 Fiesta Conference
  • Jerry Eaves
  • Rossell Ellis - led Alaska to the 2007 Fiesta Conference Title and was named as the Best Import of the Conference
  • Isaac Fontaine
  • Sylvester Gray - played for Alaska in the 1997 Commissioners Cup
  • Derrick Hamilton - played for Alaska in the mid-90's
  • James Head - played for Alaska in the 2002 season; led Alaska to a runner-up finish in the 2002 Governors Cup
  • Randy Holcomb
  • Kevin Holland - led Alaska to a runner-up finish in the 1997 Commissioners Cup
  • Artemus McClary - played for Alaska in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference
  • Ron Riley - played for Alaska in the 2001 and 2002 seasons; led Alaska to a runner-up finish in the 2002 Governors Cup
  • Anthony Simms - played for Alaska in 1990 Open Conference. Only the 3rd Canadian import to play in the league.
  • Dickey Simpkins - played for Alaska in the 2005 Fiesta Conference
  • Jose Slaughter - played for Alaska in 1987 Reinforced Conference. Led team to a runner-up finish in the Finals.
  • Ajani Williams - played for Alaska alongside Chris Carawell in the 2002 Commissioner's Cup. Led Alaska to a Third-place finish
  • Galen Young - played for Alaska in the 2004 Fiesta Conference. Led the Aces in the Semi-finals.

Retired numbers

  • 6 Jojo Lastimosa - retired during the opening of the 2003 season
  • 20 Sean Chambers - retired after Chambers announced his retirement in the 2001 Governors' Cup
  • 33 William "Bogs" Adornado - retired during the opening of the 1988 season


Barangay Ginebra Kings logo

The Barangay Ginebra Kings is a professional team of the Philippine Basketball Association1979. It is one of the most popular -- if not the most popular -- team in the league. founded in

After some rough times during their first few seasons, their fortunes changed when Robert Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz arrived in 1984, following the disbandment of the famed Toyota squad.

Jaworski as playing head coach then steered the franchise to four PBA titles (1986, 1988, 1991, 1997) with the tough and physical squad of the likes of Dondon Ampalayo, Rudy Distrito, and for some times imports like Michael Hackett and Billy Ray Bates. He left the team in 1998 with the squad of Marlou Aquino, Bal David, Vince Hizon, to name a few.

Siot Tanquincen and later Jong Uichico then led the Kings to four more titles as head coach with the squad led by Mark Caguioa, Eric Menk and Jayjay Helterbrand, among others.


1979-1984: Gilbey's Gin

Joining the league in 1979, it was known as Gilbey's Gin of then-owner Carlos Palanca Jr.'s La Tondeña franchise. Its first head coach was Pilo Pumaren and was bannered by former MICAA standout Willie Tanduyan and imports Larry McNeil and Dean Tolson. Gilbey's managed to place fourth in the 1979 Invitational tournament.

Willie Generalao won the Rookie of the Year honors during the 1980 season as Gilbey's placed fourth in the All-Filipino tournament.

Gilbey's also changed its name one time as St. George Whiskies when they had a bunch of young teenagers acting as cheerleaders. [1].

In 1982, the Gins made it to their first Finals appearance during the Open Conference. But, they were swept by Toyota team of coach Ed Ocampo, Robert Jaworski, and Ramon Fernandez.

Gilbey's made another Finals appearance in the 1983 All-Filipino but was also swept by Tommy Manotoc's Crispa Redmanizers in the first of three titles won by the fabled Redmanizers squad.

Before the 1984 PBA season, Toyota announced its departure from the league after winning nine titles in nine seasons. As part of an agreement with new team Beer Hausen, the rights of the Toyota players will be acquired by Beer Hausen. The team owned by Lucio Tan is entering its first year in the PBA.

Jaworski and backcourt partner Francis Arnaiz refused to join the Beer Hausen team. This further ingnited the internal Toyota feud between Jaworski and Fernandez which went on for the next several years. With this development, Gilbey's accepted Jaworski, Arnaiz and Arnie Tuadles to name a few while several Toyota players, led by Fernandez, joined Beer Hausen.

Gilbey's suffered another loss in the championship as the Crispa Redmanizers defeated the Gins, 4-1, giving Crispa its last PBA title.

1985-1987: Ginebra San Miguel

By 1985, Gilbey's was renamed as Ginebra San Miguel. Following the recruitement of the immensely popular backcourt tandem of Robert Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz, the fanbase of Ginebra grew. These were mostly Toyota fans that followed the two stalwarts. (The precursor of the wild Barangay Ginebra that cheered themselves hoarse in the rafters were the old raucous Toyota cheering squads that rumbled with Crispa fans in the rafters of the Araneta Coliseum). With Jaworski and Arnaiz at the forefront, Ginebra's fanbase grew larger. It grew as the ex Toyota backcourt infected the team with the legendary Toyota fighting spirit:

In 1985, Ginebra established itself as the "people's team" when they displayed their never-say-die attitude on court. The biggest manifestation was when their leader, Jaworski came back from the nearby Medical City with seven stitches in his lip to lead the Gins to a come-from-behind victory against NCC. Jaworski incurred this from a wayward elbow inflicted by Jeff Moore in the second canto. But with them behind by 15 points going into the final seven minutes of the game, Jaworski re-entered the court and sparked a frenzy that to date, has yet been matched. The NCC team simply froze upon sight of the Big J and didn't know what hit them, eventually losing to the Gins.[2]

Jaworski and Arnaiz turned the moribund franchise into a competitive one almost overnight when in the first conference of the 1984 season, the All Filipino, they led the team to a runnerup finish against powerhouse Crispa.

However in 1985, Ginebra failed to enter the finals in each of the three conferences, despite the team's growing number of fan support, showing only a strong third place finish in the Reinforced Conference.

Michael Hackett also saw his name in the PBA record books by scoring 103 points in Ginebra's 197-168 victory against Great Taste on November 21, 1985. This was later broken by Swift's Tony Harris in a 1992 game, against Ginebra.

Former Crispa import Billy Ray Bates was brought in for the 1986 Open Conference. Each PBA team was allowed to get two imports for the said conference. Bates' other partner was Michael Hackett, who was the 1985 Open Conference Best Import. It is believed that the pair was the greatest import tandem in PBA history.

The super imports combined to lead Ginebra in the Finals of the tournament against the Lucio Tan franchise now known as Manila Beer, with the newly acquired Abet Guidaben and imports Michael Young and Harold Keeling. Bates and Hackett powered Ginebra to a convincing 4-1 win in the series to give the team its first-ever championship.

Unfortunately, Francis Arnaiz suddenly left for the United States before Ginebra won this first championship, ending his 11-year PBA career and popular backcourt tandem with Jaworski.

1988-1990: Añejo Rhum 65

In 1988, Ginebra changed their name to Añejo Rhum with the team already displaying a rugged style of play. Añejo took on new team Purefoods in the Finals of the All-Filipino Conference. Añejo won the series 3-1 over the young Purefoods team led by Jerry Codinera,Alvin Patrimonio and Jojo Lastimosa (who had a confrontation with Jaworski). At that time Ramon Fernandez was benched by Purefoods management for alleged game-fixing. In the final game, three Ginebra players scored 25 points or more - Joey Loyzaga, Dondon Ampalayo and Sonny Jaworski as the Gins didn't allow the then rookie-laden Purefoods team to gain confidence, winning by a comfortable 9 point margin. Of course, the game was close all throughout until the final 3 minutes of the game when Loyzaga and Jaworski uncorked timely 3-pointers that sealed the fate of Purefoods.[3]

In the season-ending Reinforced Conference wherein teams were allowed two imports each, Añejo again hired the great Billy Ray Bates and paired him with soon-to-be Boston Celtics starter Kevin Gamble. But at this time, Bates was fading and was clearly just a shadow of his old self. After only four games, the PBA's "greatest import ever" was sent home for good. Añejo would finish the season with the exciting and high-scoring duo of "Jumpin'" Joe Ward and Tommy Davis as imports.

On the next season, Añejo lost in five games to the grand slam winning San Miguel Beer in the Third (Reinforced) Conference. In that Conference, Añejo paraded another super import in Carlos Briggs who easily bagged the Best Import Award.

In 1990, Añejo entered the finals of the First Conference against Benjie Paras and the Shell Rimula X team. In Game Six, with Shell already leading the series 3-2, Añejo protested a foul on Rey Cuenco with a few minutes left in the second quarter. This led to the infamous walk out of Añejo. The team also complained about the unfavorable officiating as the team had more fouls than Shell. In the end, the game was forfeited and awarded the title to Shell.

The result of this event gave the team a fine of more PHP 500,000 which was then the highest fine in league history.

1991-1996: Back to Ginebra San Miguel

In 1991, Añejo reverted back to Ginebra. They met Shell once again in the 1991 First Conference title series. Shell got the upper hand by taking a 3-1 series, needing only a win to clinch the series. But Ginebra managed a furious comeback to force a seventh game. In the final seconds of Game 7, an off-balanced shot by Rudy Distrito with a second remaining sealed Ginebra's third PBA title and completed the greatest comeback in PBA history.

Ginebra placed third in the 1992 Third Conference but at that time the team was starting to fade.

In the 1993 pre-season, the Gins were given the second overall pick in the 1993 PBA draft behind new team Sta. Lucia Realty (which replaced Presto). They drafted former FEU power forward Victor Pablo but immediately traded him to 7-Up Uncolas for veterans Manny Victorino and Alejo Alolor. The said trade was lambasted by most fans, and it cost Ginebra their performance for the year where they compiled a record of 9-26 win-loss slate in all three conferences. This horrible performance gave them the top pick in the next draft.

In 1994, in an effort to change their fortunes, the team was renamed as Tondeña Rhum 65. The team selected Noli Locsin with their first pick, and was hoped by many fans to save the team for the season. But Tondeña's struggles continued, winning just 12 of the 32 games that year.

In 1995, the team reverted again to Ginebra. They selected 7-0 center Edward Joseph Feihl and also drafted Jaworski's son, Robert Jr. The drafting of Feihl surprised many basketball analysts. They were expecting Ginebra to either draft Kenneth Duremdes or Jeffrey Cariaso at that time. Jaworski later quoted "It's not everyday that you see a 7-footer applying for the draft." Unfortunately, misfortunes still struck the team as Ginebra won only 5 of the 30 games played that year, capped by a 0-10 win-loss record during the Governor's Cup. The worst season triggered rumors that Ginebra was disbanding. But the rumor was quickly killed off after the team posted a printed advertisement in major newspapers that they were staying in the PBA. As a result, Ginebra snagged the top pick again in the next draft. This was the last time a PBA team with the worst record was awarded the top pick in the draft. In the succeeding drafts, the worst PBA team had to compete with the second worst team via lottery to determine the No. 1 ranking in the PBA draft.

In 1996, Ginebra used the top overall pick to draft controversial center Marlou Aquino from Adamson University. Aquino was a big star in the PBL for Nikon and Stag Pale Pilsen but was involved in a controversial scandal in terms of his academic status with Adamson although it was somewhat neglected when he jumped pro. Aquino showed the promise Ginebra fans expected during the All-Filipino Conference as Ginebra won fourth place that tournament. It also showed the discovery of former University of Santo Tomas point guard Bal David as one of the team's popular players along with Vince Hizon, Jayvee Gayoso and Pido Jarencio.

In the Commissioner's Cup, the team was paraded by NBA veteran Henry James as Ginebra wound up in a knockout match against familiar rival Formula Shell. Kenny Redfield's buzzer-beating three enabled Formula Shell to enter the finals. Ginebra finally entered the Finals of the Governors Cup but lost to the grand slam winning Alaska Milkmen in five games.

Aquino's impact on Ginebra gave the team a 30-game improvement from a year ago and was named as the Rookie of the Year.

1997-1998: Gordon's Gin Boars

Gordon's Gin Boars logo from 1997 to 1998
Gordon's Gin Boars logo from 1997 to 1998

In 1997, Ginebra was renamed once again, this time as the Gordon's Gin Boars. Gordon's was now considered as a title favorite for the league's 23rd season.

One of the most memorable shots in team history was Bal David's final second heave from half-court to defeat San Miguel by a point during the All-Filipino Cup.

Gordon's entered the Finals of the All-Filipino against the Purefoods Corned Beef Cowboys. Purefoods managed to take a 3-1 series lead. In Game Five, they were about to score a winning basket after a Gordon's turnover. But Vince Hizon blocked Dindo Pumaren's layup, as the Boars lived another day. Unfortunately, in Game Six, the strong performance of Alvin Patrimonio and company denied Gordon's a title losing the series 4-2. The loss marked Jaworski's (playing coach) last game with the La Tondeña franchise and did not enter himself in a game since.

In the Commissioner's Cup, NBA veteran Chris King became a replacement in time for the semis of the tournament. Gordon's met sister-team San Miguel in a knockout semifinal match. It was a true classic game that went to double overtime and saw several comebacks by Gordon's. The Boars won, 105-101, to meet Alaska in the finals. Gordon's eventually defeated Alaska in six games for their first title in six years. Jaworski got into the mic and thanked the Gordon's Gin fans for their support.

Expectations were high for the Governor's Cup, but they were eliminated by Sta. Lucia in the quarterfinals.

In 1998, Jaworski ran for a senatorial seat for the elections which he won by a lot of votes. This led to a conflict between Jaworski's role in the Senate and his role as coach of Ginebra (named during the Commissioner's Cup). Assistant Rino Salazar was named as interim at one point. Ginebra still struggled despite the addition of Bong Alvarez to the team.

That year, Danding Cojuangco regained ownership of San Miguel Corporation. One of the moves the team made was adding Allan Caidic from San Miguel Beer. This caused a rift between Jaworski and the new management because he was not informed of the move. In a press conference held at the Senate, Jaworski resigned as playing coach of Ginebra.

To this day, Jaworski hasn't announced his retirement, but before he quit his post, he was considered the oldest basketball player on any roster at 52 years of age.

999-present: Barangay Ginebra Kings

Brgy. Ginebra Kings logo from 1999 to 2000
Brgy. Ginebra Kings logo from 1999 to 2000

After Jaworski left, the team still enjoyed popularity. The chant of Ginebra! Ginebra! filled the air wherever the team was playing. It is said that their fans can compose a barangay, hence the phrase Barangay Ginebra came into being to denote the team's legions of fans.

In 1999, the team was then officially called Barangay Ginebra. Now, "Barangay Ginebra" did not only denote to the fans of the team, but to the club as well. It is often said that wherever Ginebra plays, they have a homecourt advantage.

In the All-Filipino, Brgy. Ginebra only managed to finish 8th in the eliminations, and needed to win twice against the first-seeded Mobiline Phone Pals team of Asi Taulava. The Kings managed to forced a knockout match, winning the first game. In the decider, Brgy. Ginebra came back from a 20 point deficit and Bal David's off-balance game-winner resulted in one of the biggest upsets in league history to advance to the next round. Taulava was seen crying in disappointment after the game after he failed to stop the smaller but quicker & more cunning Bal David. In the semis, they were eliminated by eventual champion Shell that was marred by a scuffle in Game One of the series.

Noli Locsin was later traded to Pop Cola for the acrobatic Vergel Meneses but it still didn't help the Kings throughout the season. Allan Caidic replaced Rino Salazar as the team's head coach. In the offseason, Marlou Aquino was also traded, this time Jared Marzan was join the team.

Brgy. Ginebra was eliminated early in the quarterfinals by Tanduay in the 2000 All-Filipino Cup as well as the Commissioner's Cup. With Brian Green as import for the Governors' Cup, the Kings tried to repeat the same result of the 1999 All-Filipino against Mobiline. But the Phone Pals were able to beat Brgy. Ginebra in the knockout match.

In 2001, Barangay Ginebra drafted Filipino-American Mark Caguioa, a virtual unknown in the Philippine basketball scene. Despite that, Caguioa showed brilliance during the All-Filipino, earning his current nickname The Spark. The Kings finished 5th in the eliminations and faced Purefoods, who had a twice-to-beat advantage, in the quarterfinals. In a repeat of the events of two years ago, the Kings were able to defeat the TJ Hotdogs twice, after an off-balanced game-winner by Ronald Magtulis, to enter the semis. The Kings faced Shell in a five-game affair, and Brgy. Ginebra upset the top-seeded Turbo Chargers in five games to meet sister team San Miguel in the finals. Barangay Ginebra trailed 0-2 but won the next two games to tie the series at 2-2. In the end though, the Beermen won the series in six games.

Ginebra's success in the All-Filipino were not duplicated in the import-laced Commissioner's and Governor's Cup as they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

After the season, the Kings acquired Eric Menk from Tanduay to solidy their frontline for the 2002 season. Unfortunately, Menk was loaned to the Philippine team and the Kings struggled throughout the Governor's and Commissioner's Cups, once again failing to enter the semis. In the All-Filipino, Menk made his Ginebra debut but the team did not enter the quarterfinals.

Rommel Adducul finally made his PBA debut after his years with the Metropolitan Basketball Association. Barangay Ginebra selected the former San Sebastian College - Recoletos Stag as the No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft. His addition though, did not help Ginebra's fortune to change for the 29th season. In the All-Filipino conference, they were eliminated by eventual champions, Talk N' Text Phone Pals in the quarterfinals. They also failed to qualify for the Invitational tournament, after being eliminated by eventual champions, Alaska Aces in the qualifying rounds. In the season ending Reinforced Conference, they were knocked out by sister team and eventual champions, Coca Cola Tigers in the quarterfinals.

2004-2005: Back-to-back titles

At the start of the 2004 PBA Fiesta Conference, Caidic was promoted to team manager and was replaced by former San Miguel assistant coach Siot Tanquincen. One of Tanquincen's best moves was to give more playing time to comebacking Jayjay Helterbrand over veteran Bal David, who was nursing an injury. His partnership with Mark Caguioa was later dubbed by ABC Sports commentators as the "Fast and the Furious." The team also traded Jun Limpot and Rob Johnson to sister team Purefoods in exchange for Rodney Santos and Andy Seigle. The changes helped Ginebra to become a strong team during the season.

And in July 7, 2004, Barangay Ginebra ended a 7-year title drought when they defeated Red Bull Barako in a best of 5 finals, 3-1, capturing the transition 2004 Fiesta Conference. During that time, Torraye Braggs was their import player. It was actually a total miracle as the team was only seeded 7th after the classification rounds. In the sudden death wildcard phase, they came back from a 21-point deficit to beat the Sta. Lucia Realtors. In the quarterfinal round, they had a 2-1 record, good enough to make it to the semifinals. In the best of 3 semifinals, they eventually survived the Talk N' Text Phone Pals in Game 3 on their way to the finals.

In February 11, 2005, Barangay Ginebra proved that the last championship was not a fluke by winning the next conference, the 2004-2005 Philippine Cup, a conference without imports. They dethroned the defending champions Talk N' Text Phone Pals, 4-2, in a controversial best of 7 Finals series. Game One was forfeited in favor of Ginebra when Phone Pals star center Asi Taulava, who was ineligible to play, entered the game. His citizenship case was still on the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. The Kings filed a protest prior to the start of game one. Barangay Ginebra carried the momentum and went on to win the championship. This was also the first time in franchise history that they won back-to-back championships.

2005-2006: Ginebra-Red Bull playoffs duel

The Kings' victory over Red Bull in the 2004 Fiesta Conference broke the flawless finals record of the Bulls. And it proved to be costly too, as Red Bull would go on to master Ginebra in the next 3 conferences that would follow after the Kings' back-to-back championships, denying the Kings numerous chances to rewrite history.

In the 2004-05 Fiesta Conference, Barangay Ginebra had a chance to rewrite history by winning the last possible 3-conference championship grand slam. Unfortunately, obstacles such as import problems, injury to star point guard Jayjay Helterbrand and the suspension of future MVP Eric Menk due to citizenship issues, made the team struggle throughout the conference. They placed 9th of 10 teams in the conference after being swept by Red Bull Barako in the best of 3 wildcard phase of the playoffs. Red Bull Barako took 4th place after being defeated by eventual champions, and Ginebra's sister team, San Miguel Beermen.

In the 2005-2006 Fiesta Conference, Barangay Ginebra was seeded to the semifinals after winning the 2nd seed playoff against Red Bull Barako. Original import Sean Lampley was replaced in time for the playoffs, by former Auburn University standout Chris Porter, in order to strengthen Ginebra's quest to regain the Fiesta Conference title. But, his addition was not enough to help the Kings reach the Finals.

They faced Red Bull Barako themselves in the semifinals, and eventually lost in the series, 4-3. But the Kings showed real fighting heart as they came back and tied the series, after being down 1-3. It was an emotional series for the fans, who were expecting for a repeat of the historic comeback made by the team during the 1991 First Conference.

After the series, coach Siot Tanquincen, apologized to the legion of the team's fans. It was also revealed that Mark Caguioa was playing hurt and had a hamstring injury throughout the series. Barangay Ginebra battled Air21 Express for 3rd place honors but lost. In that game, an evidently lackluster Barangay Ginebra team played, which was believed to be still emotionally down from their game 7 defeat. Red Bull Barako eventually won the championship against the Purefoods Chunkee Giants in six games.

In the 2005-2006 Philippine Cup, Barangay Ginebra finished with a 7-9 win-loss record in the classification phase. Being defending champions, they were considered as favorites to win the tournament. Unfortunately, injuries haunted the team as players began to fall one by one. All-stars Eric Menk and Rommel Adducul and role players Rodney Santos and Andy Seigle all suffered injuries during the conference. The Kings made a gallant stand in the wildcard phase as role players Manny Ramos, Allan Salansang, Ervin Sotto and Mark Macapagal, were able to step up their games. Ginebra took the sixth and final spot in the quarterfinals after defeating Air21 on June 4 with a 118-114 overtime victory as Mark Caguioa recorded a new career-high with 45 points.

However, the Kings still fell short as they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Red Bull, 3-2. After Ginebra led 2-1 in the series, the Bulls clinched the series by defeating the Kings by more than 25 points in the last two games. The Bulls went on to survive the Beermen in 7 semis games, before being denied a grand slam themselves by the Giants.

2006-07 Season: Sister Act (Ginebra vs. San Miguel)

In the off season, the Kings were involved in the controversial three-way-team trade with Coca-Cola Tigers and Air21 Express. The first part of the trade saw the Express sending Ryan Bernardo and its 2007 and 2008 first-round draft picks to the Tigers for Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and the rights to Rudy Hatfield. The second part sent Reavis, Mamaril and Hatfield's rights from the Express to the Kings for Kalani Ferreria, Aries Dimaunahan, Manny Ramos, and Ervin Sotto plus the Kings two second-round draft picks that year and a future first-round pick. The third part was voided by Commissioner Noli Eala, which would have allowed the Express to regain its own 2007 and 2008 picks plus the Tigers' 2008 second round draft pick from Coke, in exchange for Ferreria and Ramos plus the second-round pick this year and the future first-round pick. Air21 and Coca-Cola submitted a revised version of that part of the trade and was approved by Commissioner Eala.

Under the revised version, the Express will trade Manny Ramos and Kalani Ferreria plus two second-round picks acquired from San Miguel and Ginebra to the Tigers. The Tigers retained Air21's 2007 and 2008 first-round picks but traded away their 2008 and 2009 first-round picks.

The trade has been questioned by many within the league as a one-sided trade. It also speculated the rumors of Coca-Cola's possible disbandment from the league, which was denied in a statement released by the president of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc.(CCBPI) and PBA board of governors for the Coca-Cola Tigers.

Also, the coaching staff underwent a major revamp with Jong Uichico, from sister team San Miguel Beer, taking over coaching duties from Siot Tanquingcen. Tanquingcen demoted as assistant coach, along with Art Dela Cruz and Junno Sauler. Dela Cruz is also from San Miguel Beer, having served as assistant coach, while Sauler is a holdover from Tanquingcen's coaching staff. Uichico, Tanquincen, and Dela Cruz powered San Miguel Beer in their late-90s championship run and also helped win their 17th title.

As part of their preparations for the 2006-07 PBA season, the team competed in the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup but failed to make it to the semis after losing close games. They started the PBA pre-season tournament with a 90-75 drubbling of Purefoods,[4] but failed to advance to the pre-season finals due to an inferior record of only 2-2.

Rudy Hatfield made a comeback from years of absence and he decided to play for Ginebra alongside with his bestfriend, Eric Menk.

Coca-cola released Johnny Abarrientos two weeks before the start of PBA and Ginebra was able to catch him as back-up guard for Jayjay Helterbrand. His court generalship will be additional factor as Kings' powerhouse line-up.

Ginebra during the warmups prior to their game against the San Miguel Beermen at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Ginebra during the warmups prior to their game against the San Miguel Beermen at the Cuneta Astrodome.

In the season opener, the Kings defeated the expansion Welcoat Dragons 102-69 on October 1. Two victories over sister team Purefoods and Air21 gave Ginebra an early 3-0 record before being defeated by Red Bull in a hyped matchup on October 15.

Rommel Adducul was later sent to the San Miguel Beermen as part of a three-team deal which involved Red Bull, a non-SMC squad. [5] Ironically, the following game saw the two sister teams face off at the Cuneta Astrodome, in a game which the Beermen edged 101-97 in overtime, after leading by as much as 20 points during the regulation period. At the middle of the elimination round, they have acquired the energetic Ronald Tubid from the Air21 Express. [6] Midway through the elimination round, the team managers of SMC squads were shuffled. Ginebra's team manager, Allan Caidic was replaced by Samboy Lim and Caidic was sent to the Coca-Cola Tigers. The Kings advanced to the semifinals as the first seed. [7] On the semifinal series against the Phone Pals, they won the pivotal Game 5 where the series was tied 2-2, leading to the series clinching Game 6 win.

In the finals, Ginebra met sister team San Miguel Beer and fell behind 0-2 early in the series. They would win their next four games, with games 3 and 4 being blowouts, being only the fifth PBA team to win the title after losing their first two games. Ginebra's backcourt general Jayjay Helterbrand sank the two crucial free throws of Game 6, was adjudged Finals MVP, while Mark Caguioa the consistent scoring machine won the Best Player of the Conference award.

After they won the Philippine Cup Title, Caguioa, Helterbrand and Menk were loaned to play for the Philippine national basketball team to compete for the FIBA Asia Tournament. They also lose Rudy Hatfield early in the first round due to personal problems but their import Rod Nealy provided all-around offense for the Kings. Despite of a depleted lineup, they still managed to finish 12-6 in 3rd seed of an outright quarterfinals berth thanks to their bench contributions of Mark Macapagal, Gec Chia and Egay Echavez who stepped up for the loss of their backcourt tandem of Caguioa and Helterbrand. In the quarterfinals, they faced San Miguel Beermen again but ended the series differently. This time they took Game 1 with a 113-87 victory but San Miguel took Game 2 and won an overtime thriller 117-114 in Game 3, thwarting the Kings' chance to win another back-to-back titles.

2007-2008 Season: Ginebra vs. Air21 showdown

In the off-season, the Kings made few adjustments to their roster by trading Mark Macapagal to Coca Cola for guard Chris Pacana and Gec Chia to Talk 'N Text for veteran Vic Pablo.They also boosted their backcourt by drafting Macky Escalona from Ateneo and acquiring Paul Artadi from Air 21 after being traded by Purefoods. They also added depth by getting Willie Wilson and Vic Pablo. Still, they lacked interior presence due to the loss of Hatfield and injuries to Rafi Reavis and Billy Mamaril. Despite having Helterbrand back in the lineup, they have yet returned to their competitive form because Caguioa got injured. They won the opening game vs Red Bull but finished the eliminations 8-10 ending up in the wildcard phase where they met Air 21 and lose 119-110 ending its title defense.

After failing to defend their Philippine Cup crown, they signed Alex Crisano to supplement their big men and Rahshon Turner as their import for the 2008 PBA Fiesta Conference. Despite of a different lineup, the Kings had a slow start losing their first five games with both Turner and Ernest Brown. To stop the losing streak, they replaced Brown with another recruit from the NBA Development League, Chris Alexander whose post up scoring and rebounding helped the Kings win 10 of their next 13 games in the eliminations. The Kings ended on a high note ending the eliminations 10-8 with an outright quarterfinals berth. They faced the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the quarterfinals and completed a 2 game sweep en route to another showdown against Red Bull. In the semis, which everyone predicted to be a 7-game showdown saw the Kings sweep the Barakos that included a 101-97 overtime victory in Game 4. So convincingly was the sweep that they shamed the Red Bull all throughout the series and Red Bull never knew what hit them. So ashamed they went all the way to locker room without congratulating Barangay Ginebra. This gives Ginebra its first series sweep in franchise history, its 17th finals appearance, Jong Uichico's 12 finals appearance (2nd with the Kings) and the first sweep in league history in 16 years (the last was in 1992 Third Conference when Swift swept 7-Up in the finals). The Game 4 victory extended their winning streak dating back from the eliminations to 12 (the longest in franchise history and the PBA for 12 years).

In the finals, they met the Air 21 Express who seeks to win its first franchise title. At the opener, the Kings extended their winning streak to 13 with a 105-96 victory. But in Game 2, Ginebra's misfortunes came by when Jayjay Helterbrand injured his hamstring giving the momentum to the Express for a 124-90 pounding, the worst loss of Uichico's coaching career. As their injuries continued to pile up, they lost Game 3 and Helterbrand for the rest of the series. However, with their never-say-die attitude, the Kings managed to tie the series with a 90-77 win in Game 4 with Ronald Tubid returning from a dislocated left ankle to give them a lift, but lost a dogfight 76-73 in Game 5. In Game 6 the Kings proved that they are more worthy of the title by extending the series to a Game 7 with a 80-75 victory thanks to Alexander's 37 points(20 in the 3rd quarter) to lift the Kings despite an injury plagued lineup. In game 7, despite the injury suffered by Junthy Valenzuela (tendonitis) and Chris Alexander (cramps) in the 3rd quarter, the locals led by Ronald Tubid and Eric Menk had a terrific performance especially in the 2nd half to maintain the lead and seal the 97-84 victory and won the series 4-3 to win their 8th championship, surpassing Purefoods in over-all titles won. Tubid and Menk were named co-finals MVP for the first time in league and franchise history. Jong Uichico also won his 8th PBA title as a coach and his 2nd with the Kings.A Record crowd of 22,902 witness Kings’ coronation, the highest paying crowd attendance in Araneta since the Crispa-Toyota days.


Over the last few years, Ginebra has been involved in several incidents involving players and the team itself.

  • Jaworski and Fernandez, two former Toyota teammates, engaged in a well-publicized feud in 1984. Apparently, Toyota's players were sold to new team Beer Hausen. Jaworski, in utter defiance, refused to play for Beer Hausen and joined Ginebra. The franchise sell out was the final straw in the 2 year silent feud of Jaworski and Fernandez within Toyota. It finally exploded into a full out war between the two. However, in the 1989 All-Star Game, Jaworski and Fernandez were teammates for the Veterans. In the final seconds, with the game tied, Jaworski's pass to Fernandez led to the Veterans escaping a 132-130 win against the Rookies-Sophomores-Juniors team in the inaugural All-Star Game. Afterwards, Jawo and Fernadez shook hands to the delight of the capacity crowd at ULTRA, now PhilSports Arena, which signalled the reconcillation between the two legends.
  • On May 15, 1990, Shell defeated Anejo Rhum 4-2 to win the 1990 PBA 1st Conference title. However, it sparked a controversy in the sixth and final game of the series when the whole Anejo team walked out with still 2:52 left in the second quarter in favor of the Zoom Masters. Back-to-back technical fouls were slapped by referee Rudy Hines on Rey Cuenco led to the walkout, as loyal Anejo fans peltered the court with debris. Coach Robert Jaworski and team manager Ber Navarro refused to return back to the playing court, which resulted in the forfeiture of the match, and the championship to Shell. Two days later, the league fined Anejo a whopping 550,000 pesos, the biggest in league history. It was the second time that a forfeiture happened in a PBA Finals series since Crispa in Game four of the 1975 series against rival Toyota.
  • Robert Jaworski resigned as player-coach of the team after the 1998 due to misunderstandings with the new management of San Miguel Corporation. It is claimed that the newly-elected Senator was frustrated over the company's acquisition of Allan Caidic as the new assistant-playing coach from San Miguel without first getting input from the famed coach.
  • On May 17, 1999, a bench-clearing brawl ensured during Game two of the All-Filipino Cup semi-finals series against Formula Shell. A total of 235,000 pesos was slapped on 16 players and one official from both teams. Shell's Jay Mendoza was fined 40,000 pesos, while Ginebra players Noli Locsin, Elmer Lago, Cris Bolado and Boy Valera were fined 20,000 each.
  • In the 2005 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Barangay Ginebra was awarded the winner of the first game of the series, after Finals opponent Talk N' Text Phone Pals fielded suspended cager Asi Taulava. With documents of his Filipino blood still questionable, the Phone Pals used the 6-9 center in their convincing double-digit victory. The Kings filed a protest prior to the start of the game. Two days later, PBA Commissioner Noli Eala announced the forfeiture of Talk N' Text's Game one victory.

  • Gary Granada, a well-known composer and singer in the Philippines, composed numerous songs about the Kings; "Ginebrang Ginebra", "Kapag Nananalo ang Ginebra" (When Ginebra Wins) sung by Bayang Barrios, Kapag Natatalo ang Ginebra (When Ginebra Loses), sung by himself. The latest was "Yan ang Aming Barangay" right after the 2007 Philippine Cup championship.
  • Ginebra is the first of only two teams to have ever come back from a 1-3 deficit in a best-of seven series. They did it back in the 1991 First Conference against Shell. Purefoods was the other team to do so; they accomplished the feat against Alaska in the semifinals of the 2005-2006 Philippine Cup.
  • With the addition of Ronald Tubid in the lineup, their tandem of Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand which is known as "Fast and the Furious" became a trio of "The Fast, the Furious, and the Fearless" due to Tubid's penetration style of play.
  • Ginebra's sweep of Red Bull in the 2008 Fiesta Conference Semifinals was only the 3rd sweep in league history, the first in franchise history and the first one in 16 years. Also, Ginebra started with a 1-7 record early in the conference but still managed to enter the finals for the 17th time.
  • Ginebra's 8th PBA title in the 2008 Fiesta Conference marked the 4th time that they won the most PBA titles while the league's seasons from 2004-2008 is aired by ABC/TV5, thus becoming its first and last champions covered. (2004,2008 Fiesta Conference & 2005, 2007 Philippine Cup)

PBA Most Valuable Player

  • Eric Menk - 2004-2005

PBA Best Player of the Conference Award

  • Jayjay Helterbrand - 2008 Fiesta Conference
  • Mark Caguioa - 2006-07 Philippine Cup
  • Eric Menk – 1999 All Filipino Cup,2004 Fiesta Conference, 2005 Philippine Cup
  • Marlou Aquino – 1996 Governor’s Cup

PBA Rookie of the Year Award

  • Mark Caguioa – 2001
  • Marlou Aquino – 1996
  • Dondon Ampalayo, Jr. – 1986
  • Wilfredo Generalao – 1980

PBA Mythical First Team

  • Mark Caguioa - 2007-2008
  • Jayjay Helterbrand - 2007-2008
  • Eric Menk – 2004-2005
  • Vince Hizon – 1997
  • Marlou Aquino – 1996, 1997
  • Robert Jaworski Sr. – 1986

PBA Mythical Second Team

  • Mark Caguioa – 2004-2005, 2005-2006
  • Rommel Adducul - 2004-2005
  • Noli Locsin – 1996, 1997
  • Bal David – 1996
  • Rudy Distrito – 1990
  • Rey Cuenco – 1990
  • Dondon Ampalayo, Jr. – 1986, 1988
  • Chito Loyzaga – 1986
  • Terry Saldaña – 1986
  • Robert Jaworski – 1985, 1988
  • Antero Saldaña – 1984

PBA All-Defensive Team

  • Marlou Aquino – 1997, 1996
  • Chito Loyzaga – 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1987, 1986, 1985
  • Robert Jaworski – 1988, 1985
  • Terry Saldaña – 1984

PBA Most Improved Player

  • Elmer Lago – 1999
  • Rey Cuenco – 1990
  • Dante Gonzalgo – 1989
  • Antero Saldana – 1983

PBA Energy Player Award

  • Ronald Tubid - 2006-07

PBA Best Import

  • Wes Matthews – 1991 Third Conference
  • Carlos Briggs – 1989 Reinforced Conference
  • Jamie Waller - 1988 Open Conference
  • Michael Hackett – 1985 Reinforced Conference
  • Chris Alexander- 2008 Fiesta Conference

PBA Finals MVP

  • Ronald Tubid- 2008 Smart Fiesta Conference (co-MVP)
  • Anthony Helterbrand - 2006-2007 Philippine Cup
  • Eric Menk - 2004-2005 Fiesta Conference, 2004-2005 Philippine Cup, 2008 Smart Fiesta Conference (co-MVP)
  • Marlou Aquino - 1997 Commissioner's Cup

PBA Coach of the Year

  • Jong Uichico - 2006-07
  • Siot Tanquingcen - 2004-2005

Comeback Player of the Year

  • Anthony Helterbrand - 2004-2005

Defensive Player of the Year

  • Marlou Aquino - 1996

Mr. Quality Minutes

  • Mark Caguioa - 2001

Humanitarian/Citizenship Award

  • Chito Loyzaga - 1993

PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

  • Johnny Abarrientos, currently playing for Ginebra as of the 2006-07 season. Also serving as an assistant coach while inactive.
  • Francis Arnaiz, a glamour boy back from his days with Toyota, joined Jaworski at Gilbey's Gin and became one of the most popular Ginebra players in history. He retired after the 1986 season after three seasons with the team.
  • Allan Caidic , known as "The Trigger Man" played his last PBA season with Ginebra in 1999 as playing coach, before becoming the team's full-time head coach.
  • Philip Cezar, became one of the last stops in his celebrated PBA career.
  • Freddie Hubalde, played for Añejo during the final year of his career.
  • Robert Jaworski, known as the "The Big J", "The Living Legend" and "Jawo", he was playing coach of Ginebra from his arrival in 1984 to his resignation in 1998. He is undoubtedly the most popular player in Philippine basketball history.
  • Vergel Meneses, also known as "Aerial Voyager" played for Ginebra from 1999-2002.
  • Samboy Lim, "Skywalker" current team manager but never played for the team.

Other notable players



  • Larry McNeill
  • Dean Tolson


  • Larry McNeill
  • Jim Bradley


  • Larry McNeill
  • Dean Tolson
  • Kenny Tyler


  • Larry McNeill
  • Lawrence Massey
  • Anthony Roberts


  • Lawrence Massey
  • Jack Dorsey


  • Dartona Washam



  • Anthony Hunter
  • Terry Duerod
  • Clinton Wheeler
  • Keith Gray
  • Billy Ray Bates
  • Michael Hackett




  • Carlton Mckinney
  • Darren Queenan
  • Carlos Briggs


  • Glen Dedmon
  • Sylvester Gray
  • Carlos Briggs
  • Toney Mack
  • Darryl Joe


  • Ron Davis
  • William Alexander
  • Jervis Cole
  • Wes Matthews


  • Jervis Cole
  • Jamie Waller
  • Danny Jones


  • Tony Massop
  • Brian Shorter
  • Benjamin Muhammad
  • Terry Thames



  • Isiah Morris
  • Darryl Prue
  • Alex Coles
  • Andre Hardy
  • Antonio Madison



  • Tyrone Hopkins
  • Chris King
  • Purnell Perry
  • Dennis Edwards
  • Leon Trimmingham
  • Andy Bostick


  • Chris King
  • Michael Cumberland
  • John Strickland
  • Dennis Edwards
  • Franklin Western
  • Wayman Strickland
  • DeWayne Wesley
  • Joe Wylie
  • Rick Brunson
  • Kenny Payne



  • Ryan Fletcher
  • Roy Hammonds
  • Brian Green



  • Jarrod Gee
  • Bubba Wells
  • Brian Green
  • Ben Davis
  • Silas Mills
  • Desmond Ferguson
  • Isaac Spencer








Coca-Cola Tigers logo

The Coca-Cola Tigers is a professional team of the Philippine Basketball Association founded in 2002, when the then-San Miguel Corporation-owned Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines bought the RFM-owned Cosmos Bottling Corporation.

Their current head coach is Binky Favis although its most successful coach was Chot Reyes, when he led the team to two PBA championships, first in 2002, then in 2003.


Pop Cola Panthers

Pop Cola Panthers arrived in the PBA in 1990 as one of two expansion teams in the league. In 1992, as Swift, they won the Third Conference by sweeping 7-Up with Yeng Guiao as head coach. As Sunkist, they won the 1995 All-Filipino and Commissioners Cup title with Derrick Pumaren as head coach.

In 2001. Republic Flour Mills (RFM) sold its subsidiary COSMOS Bottlers Corporation to food company giant San Miguel Corporation. The move also absorbed the PBA team, which gave SMC four PBA ballclubs. After the PBA board gave to go-signal to allow the team to remain in the league, it was renamed as the Coca-Cola Tigers before the start of the 2002 season.

The old Pop Cola team's lineage was removed, with Viva-Vintage television commentators2002 All-Filipino Cup. However, it can be argued that Pop Cola is a Cosmos product, and the lineage of the old Swift, and Sunkist franchise still exists on the current team. But since RFM still owns Swift and Sunkist, the lineage of the old franchise to the Tigers could also be legitimately removed. mentioning the Tigers as an expansion club after winning the

Under the San Miguel Corporation

2002 season

In Coca-Cola's maiden campaign, the Tigers failed to capture the first two conferences of the tournament (a third place finish in the Governors Cup and a disappointing quarterfinals finish in the Commissioners Cup), the Tigers surged ahead in the All-Filipino Conference. Bannered once again by Rudy Hatfield and Jeffrey Cariaso after serving time with the national team, Coca-Cola defeated their sister team San Miguel in the semi-finals to enter their first finals appearance against the Alaska Aces.

After losing Johnny Abarrientos in Game One of the best-of-five series, the Tigers won the next three games to secure their first-ever PBA title. Ironically, the Tigers clinched the series on the first PBA game held on Christmas Day.

2003 season

During their second season in the league, Coca-Cola failed to win the championship in the first two conferences. In the All-Filipino Conference, the Tigers blew a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as their counterparts Talk N Text won the next four games to win the series. In the Invitational tournament, Alaska took revenge on the Tigers, winning the said tournament in three games.

But the Tigers succeeded in the Reinforced Conference. Bannered by former Mobiline import Artemus McClary, Coke won the said tournament against sister team San Miguel in seven grueling games to win their second PBA crown.

McClary was named Best Import of the tournament while Hatfield won the Best Player of the Conference award for the first time in his career.

2004-05 season

Coca-Cola failed to return in the Finals in the 2004 Fiesta Conference as they were eliminated by Red Bull in the semi-finals with Mark Sanford as import.

In the 2004-2005 PBA Philippine Cup, the Tigers struggled after the indefinite suspension of Rudy Hatfield due to citizenship issues, the acquisition of Ali Peek and John Arigo from Alaska in exchange for Jeffrey Cariaso and Reynel Hugnatan midway through the tournament and the naming of Chot Reyes as the head coach of the Philippine National team, the Tigers were eliminated by sister-team Purefoods in the wild-card phase, 2-1.

Eric Altamirano made his return in the PBA as Coca-Cola's coach in the 2005 Fiesta Conference but the Tigers finished dead last in the tournament, eliminated by Alaska in the wild-card phase.

2005-06 season

During the offseason, the Tigers selected FEU playmaker Denok Miranda in the first round, Magnolia Ice Cream forward Neil Raneses and Montana Pawnshop's Al Magpayo in the second round in the PBA Rookie Draft while hiring Barangay Ginebra assistant Binky Favis as the team's third head coach in nine months. The Tigers entered the 2005-2006 PBA Fiesta Conference as one of the least contenders. Coca-Cola Tigers finished ninth place in the classification phase and was eliminated by San Miguel in the Survivor round.

In the 2006 PBA Philippine Cup, the Tigers went 7-9 in the classification phase. However, after starting the season 4-0 and 6-2 in the first round, the Tigers lost seven of the last eight games, falling in a tie for fifth place with the Air21 Express. Both teams played a one-game match for the final outright quarterfinals berth in the playoffs on May 28 with the Tigers defeating the Express 97-83. The win gave the Tigers its first quarterfinals berth since the 2004 Fiesta Conference. The Tigers lost to the Alaska Aces, 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

Under the Coca-Cola Company

In 2006, rumors of an impending sale of SMC's majority share of the Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines back to the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta are close to being a done deal surfaced. In December 2006, the sale was officially announced.

2006-07 season

Months before the start of the season, the Tigers were involved in a three-team trade involving sister team Barangay Ginebra Kings and Air21 Express in one of the most celebrated and controversial transactions in the league.

In the deal, the Tigers dealt Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and the rights to Rudy Hatfield to Ginebra. The Kings sent Aries Dimaunahan and Ervin Sotto, along with future draft picks to Air21 while Coca-Cola received Kalani Ferreria from Brgy. Ginebra, Ryan Bernardo from Air21 and Manny Ramos (initially from Ginebra but was received from Air21 under the revised version of the deal).

During the draft held in Market-Market, Taguig, the Coca Cola Tigers selected ex-La Salle shooting guard Joseph Yeo as the third overall pick in the first round. The Tigers then chose FEU hotshot RJ Rizada (12th pick), PSBA standout Manuel Caceres (14th pick), St. Francis of Assisi shooting guard Chris Pacana (15th pick), Air21 Express traded their 2006 second round pick for the Tigers 2007 second round pick that is sealed on the draft day, slotman/center Mike Gavino (16th pick), and ex-Letran guard Ronjay Enrile (17th pick) in the second round.

At the start of the season, Coca-Cola struggled throughout the conference due to its depleted lineup but had its share of surprising wins over Red Bull and Sta. Lucia among others. The Tigers barely made it to the wildcard phase with a 5-13 record.

In the wildcard phase, Coke pulled off a 99-98 come-from-behind win over Alaska on a Denok Miranda buzzer-beating triple. But the Tigers lost their next two games to bow out of contention for the quarterfinals phase.

But prior to the start of the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference, it was announced that the Atlanta-based company now controls the franchise, with coaches, players and management staying upon further notice, saying the Coca-Cola Company would honor their existing contracts.

On March 23, 2007, team manager Allan Caidic announced his resignation from his post to allow the Coca-Cola Company to have a free hand in running the team affairs. It has been speculated that this move is because Caidic is known to be a loyalist of former team owner Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco.

The Tigers won their first two games with Anthony Johnson, but soon suffered a series of defeats. Because of these, the Tigers made a change on its lineup.Coca-Cola replaced Johnson with Jeff Varem and acquired 1998 PBA MVP Kenneth Duremdes, Alex Cabagnot and Ricky Calimag from Sta. Lucia in exchange of Denok Miranda, Manny Ramos and future picks. The Tigers finish 7th in the classification phase and was relegated to wildcard phase.

With scoring import Rashad Bell at the helm, Coke beat Purefoods in the first knockout wildcard match, but suffered a monumental 102-101 loss to San Miguel in the last match for the quarterfinals, despite leading 101-97 with 13 seconds to play.

2007-08 season

After a dismal season, Coca-Cola head coach Binky Favis made some interesting moves that should make the Tigers more competitive in the upcoming 33rd season. Looking for a man for the middle and guards to boost its lineup, the Tigers pawned center/forward Mark Telan from Air21 in exchange of its two 1st round picks in the 2007 draft and get Egay Echavez in the free agent pool. On the draft, the Tigers drafted former Emilio Aguinaldo standout Ronjay Buenafe as 11th overall pick in the draft.

Then upon getting Buenafe, the Tigers sent Joseph Yeo, the team's 3rd overall rookie pick a year ago and 2008 second round pick, to the Sta. Lucia Realtors in exchange for center sophomore Mark Isip and shooter Cesar Catli.

On the start of the 33rd season, the Tigers win their first game against the Welcoat Dragons but then suffered a franchise-worst eight straight losses.

Because of guards injury and unbelievable string set of setbacks, Coca-Cola pawned Aris Dimaunahan from Air21. On November 26, the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals traded Asi Taulava to the Coca-Cola Tigers in exchange for Ali Peek and a first-round pick. "The Rock" became instrumental in a five game winning streak that is enough to get the Tigers through the wildcard phase with a 7-11 card.

In the wildcard phase, the Tigers eliminated the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals and Air21 Express to get into the quarterfinals, the lowest-seed to do so. In the quarterfinals, the Tigers ran out of gas as the Alaska Aces swept them in the best-of-3 series, partly due to overfatigue on the part of the Tigers.

Having the second-worst elimination round record, the Tigers, along with the Welcoat Dragons are allowed to acquire an import 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) in height, aside from the import of unrestricted height all of the teams will have.


PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

  • Johnny Abarrientos - 1996 PBA MVP. Member of the Tigers 2002 and 2006 championship teams. Also a member of 25 Greatest player in the PBA and the PBA all time steals leader.
  • Kenneth Duremdes - The 1998 Most Valuable Player. Acquired in 2007 Fiesta Conference from Sta. Lucia with Alex Cabagnot and Ricky Calimag in exchange of Dennis Miranda, Manny Ramos and Coke's 2008 second round pick

[edit] Other notable players

  • Jeffrey Cariaso - Member of the Tigers 2002 and 2003 championship teams, named Finals MVP of the 2003 Reinforced Conference
  • Rudy Hatfield - Member of the Tigers 2002 and 2003 championship teams, named Best Player of the 2003 Reinforced Conference
  • Edward Juinio - Tigers' center during their 2002 and 2003 championship runs
  • Billy Mamaril - played for Coke in the 2005-06 PBA season
  • Ali Peek- Member of PBA's 5,000 point club, Tigers' center from 2004- 05 season to 2007-08
  • Raffy Reavis - one of the team's first-ever draft choice in 2002, member of the 2002 and 2003 championship teams

[edit] Imports

  • Rashad Bell- played in 2007 Fiesta Conference
  • Torraye Braggs- played in the 2002 Commissioners Cup
  • Calvin Cage- played in 2008 Fiesta Conference
  • Alex Carcamo- played in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference
  • Carlos Daniel- played in 2002
  • Brandon Dean- played for 2008 Fiesta Conference
  • Jason Dixon- played in 2008 Fiesta Conference
  • Rosell Ellis- played in the 2002 Governors Cup
  • George Gervin, Jr.- played in 2008 Fiesta Conference
  • Ron Hale- played in 2002
  • Bakari Hendrix- played only one game at the Tigers before getting injured
  • Darell Johns- played in 2004-05 season
  • Anthony Johnson- played for the 1st nine games of 2007 Fiesta Conference
  • Artemus McClary- named Best Import of the 2003 Reinforced Conference, led Tigers to the title of the said conference
  • Jaja Richards- played in 2004 Fiesta Conference
  • Mark Sanford- played in 2004 Fiesta Conference
  • Omar Thomas- played in 2004
  • Jeff Varem- played in 2007 Fiesta Conference
  • Fred Williams- played in 2003

Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants logo

The Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants is a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) team under the Purefoods-Hormel division of the San Miguel Corporation. Its head coach is Ryan Gregorio.

The Purefoods Corporation, once part of the Ayala Group of Companies, bought the Tanduay franchise prior to the 1988 PBA season.

Purefoods-Hormel Corporation was later bought by San Miguel Corporation in 2001 with the team retaining their colors. The team later got its new monicker, Tender Juicy Giants, starting at the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference.

Arguably, the most popular Purefoods player is Alvin Patrimonio , who led the franchise to six championships in the 1990s and early 2000s, and was named Most Valuable Player four times. Patrimonio retired in 2004 to concentrate more on his duties as the current team manager.

The main rivals are the Alaska Aces and the Barangay Ginebra Kings, although Ginebra is now a sister team.


PABL days

Prior to joining the PBA in 1988, Purefoods was a member of the Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL, now the Philippine Basketball League) and was one of the strongest teams during their tenure with the amateur league.

Tanduay Rhum Masters

The original Tanduay team won three PBA title from 1975 to 1987 - those three championships were captured during the '86 and '87 seasons with coach Turo Valenzona, league MVP Ramon Fernandez, Freddie Hubalde, Padim Israel and import David Thirdkill.

After the 1987 season, in an emotional press conference, Tanduay announced that it was leaving the PBA. The franchise rights were then sold to Purefoods before the 1988 season.

The lineage of the first Tanduay squad and Purefoods was removed after the sale and is considered a different entity.

Under the Ayala Corporation

1988-1989: Early years

Inaugural Season Roster (1988)
Ramon Fernandez (Player/Coach)
Alfredo Hubalde
Wilfredo Generalao
Ramon dela Cruz
Federico Israel
Jose Bernardo Yango
Al Solis
Artemio Marquez, Jr.
Jerry Codiñera
Jojo Lastimosa
Glen Capacio
Edgar Tanuan
Alvin Patrimonio*
David Thirdkill - Import
*started playing in the 2nd conference

As part of the deal to join the league, Purefoods was allowed to take some amateur players from the PABL and the national team. Purefoods then drafted Alvin Patrimonio, Jojo Lastimosa, Jerry Codiñera, Glenn Capacio, and Jack Tanuan. They also added Al Solis and Totoy Marquez from Shell.

However, there was a surrounding controversy on the case of Patrimonio, as his PABL team Swift denied Patrimonio's release. However, before the All-Filipino Conference, they have settled the issue and Patrimonio joined the team.

Purefoods also took Fernandez, Hubalde, Israel and Onchie dela Cruz from the Tanduay squad. David Thirdkill was hired as Purefoods' import for the Open Conference and Fernandez was the team's playing coach during this time.

In their first conference, Purefoods made an historic run to the Finals against the Norman BlackSan Miguel Beermen in seven games. led

In the next conference, they met crowd favorite Añejo Rhum in the Finals. Purefoods lost the series 3-1 against a veteran and rugged team of playing coach Robert Jaworski. Controversy arose during the series as Fernandez was ordered to be benched by then-owner Jaime Zobel de Ayala amid rumors of game-fixing. This issue led to Fernandez's transfer to San Miguel Beer for Abet Guidaben late in the season. Cris Calilan replaced Fernandez as head coach. Lastimosa was named as the 1988 Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.

In 1989, Purefoods lost in six games to San Miguel in the All-Filipino Cup. An incident also happened during this series when Samboy Lim nearly suffered a career-ending injury when he drove over Jojo Lastimosa causing him to fall off-balance.

1990-1994: Glory days

In the season ending 1990 Third Conference, Purefoods took on Alaska Air Force for the title. This conference featured two imports and Purefoods tapped the services of Darren Queenan and Rob Rose.

The Air Force took a 2-0 lead with a win away to clinch the best of five series. However, the team of legendary coach Baby Dalupan led a stunning comeback to win the series 3-2, giving the franchise its first PBA title.

The championship was Dalupan's last but achieved a milestone as the first coach in PBA history to win PBA championships in three different decades. The other coach who achieved this feat was Norman Black.

During the offseason, Purefoods traded Lastimosa to Alaska for Boy Cabahug and Al Solis to Sarsi for Jun Tan. They also signed Elmer Reyes.

In 1991, Patrimonio was offered a 5-year, 25 million peso deal by Pepsi Cola, which was matched by Purefoods. With the development he became the highest paid player in the league. With this, Purefoods was able to beat Sarsi to win the 1991 All-Filipino Conference under head coach Eli Capacio.

Patrimonio won the 1991 Most Valuable Player, the first of a record-tying four MVPs he had won.

Purefoods failed to defend the crown in 1992, losing in seven games to San Miguel Beer.

In 1993, Purefoods renamed their team as the Coney Island Ice Cream Stars, an ice cream brand introduced by the Ayala corporation. They drafted 4 rookies that year - Dwight Lago, Benny Cheng, Freddie Abuda and Olsen Racela; and acquired veteran forward Abe King from the disbanded Presto team. The Stars won the 1993 All-Filipino Conference defeating San Miguel Beer, 4-2. Their head coach was Chot Reyes, and achieved a milestone for winning the title in his first conference as coach.

Coney Island reverted back to Purefoods in the Commissioner's Cup and was defeated by Swift for the crown of the said tournament.

Alvin Patrimonio won his second Most Valuable Player award after the season.

The team went back to the Coney Island monicker for the 1994 All-Filipino Conference and drafted 3 rookies - Rey Evangelista, Vince Hizon and Peter Naron. However, the team added another rookie in Richie Ticzon whom they acquired through a draft-day trade that sent veteran point guard Dindo Pumaren and Dwight Lago to Pepsi Mega. To add experience to the roster, Coney Island had to trade incoming sophomore Benny Cheng to Ginebra for veteran Manny Victorino and acquired 1992 Rookie of the Year Bong Ravena from San Miguel Beer in exchange for Kevin Ramas. The league gave an incentive to the champion of the said conference which gives them the opportunity to represent the country in the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan. However, Coney Island lost in six games to San Miguel. However, the San Miguel squad was decimated with several injuries to their key players. This allowed San Miguel to grab Purefoods' Patrimonio, Codiñera and rookie Rey Evangelista. The Philippines placed fourth in the basketball competitions.

In the Commissioner's Cup, with Kenny Redfield as import, Purefoods won the title in five games against Alaska Milk.

Patrimonio won his second consecutive MVP and third overall. Evangelista was a prime candidate to win the Rookie of the Year award but lost to Swift's Boybits Victoria.

1995-2000: Ups and downs

In 1995, Purefoods failed to enter the championship of the three conferences alloted, showing only two fourth place finishes in the All-Filipino and the Commissioner's Cup.

During the offseason, Purefoods retooled its lineup by trading Vince Hizon to Ginebra and reacquired former Purefoods players Dindo Pumaren and Jack Tanuan through trades conducted with Pepsi and Sta. Lucia respectively.

The TJ Hotdogs met Alaska in the finals of the All-Filipino Conference in 1996 PBA season but was defeated in five games by the eventual grand slam winning Milkmen.

In the Governor's Cup, Purefoods struggled during the said conference and fielded in several imports in hopes of reversing their misfortunes. After the season, Chot Reyes left the Purefoods team to became the head coach of the Sta. Lucia Realtors.

In 1997 PBA season, rookie coach Eric Altamirano took over as coach of the Purefoods Corned Beef Cowboys. In his very first conference, Purefoods won the All-Filipino Cup defeating the Gordon's Gin Boars in six games for their first title in three years.

After a sorry performance in the Commissioner's Cup, the newly-christened Purefoods Carne Norte Cowboys lost in the finals of the Governor's Cup to Alaska, 4-1. Their import was the talented Mike Jones who lost in a battle for Best Import honors.

Alvin Patrimonio won his fourth and final Most Valuable Player Award, tying former teammate and idol Ramon Fernandez for the most number of MVP awards won.

After getting booted out of the semi-finals of the 1998 All-Filipino Cup, Altamirano left Purefoods to join the Mobiline Phone Pals. Chito Narvasa became his replacement but failed to lead Purefoods to a Finals appearance.

Purefoods struggled in the 1999 PBA season All-Filipino Cup despite acquiring Filipino-American Al Segova and a new Head Coach in Derek Pumaren. During the Commissioner's Cup, Jerry Codiñera was traded to Mobiline for Andy Seigle. The trade ended the long-time partnership of Patrimonio and Codinera, who was known as the "Defense Minister". Segova later was banished after he was proven as a fake Filipino-American. Purefoods failed to get past the quarterfinals of the first two conferences. They were ousted by Alaska Milk in a 3 game sweep despite finishing 1st at the end of the elimination round with a 7-1 card and lost their last 4 games after winning 6 in a row(8-1 record after the quarterfinals) in the season ending Governor's Cup. Derrick"The Flight"Brown Led all Imports in Scoring and Rebounding but was edged out By San Miguel import Lamont Strothers in the balloting for best import honors.

In 2000, Purefoods was not considered a favorite to win the All-Filipino Cup but after a controversial win over Tanduay in the semis, resulting in a forfeiture of games won by Tanduay during the series for fielding fake Filipino-American Sonny Alvarado in Games 2 and 3 won by the Rhum Masters and set the stage for Boyet Fernandez' Buzzer Beating shot in over time of game 4 that cattapulted the Hotdogs 72-71 and sent them to the Finals.

Derrick Brown Won Best Import Honors. It was the second time that a Purefoods import won the said award. (Brown would go on to win a second one in 2002 in the same conference)

Under the San Miguel Corporation

Derrick Pumaren left Purefoods after the 2000 season and signed up with the Tanduay Rhum Masters. Replacing him was the returning Eric Altamirano for his second tour of duty with Purefoods.

A distraction affected the team off the court when the Ayala Group sold Purefoods Hormel to food and beverage giant San Miguel Corporation. The problem with this development was that SMC already had two PBA ballclubs in San Miguel and Barangay Ginebra, which meant that either the Ayala group had to retain their team under a new banner or for SMC to disband the team after the season since it was not allowed by the league for a company to own three teams in the league.

Eventually, the PBA Board of Governors adjusted the rule and allowed Purefoods to stay in the league. The TJ Hotdogs lost to the Red Bull Thunder 2-3 in a best of 5 semi finals series. Despite their unexpected good showing in the Commissioner's cup, They struggled in the last conference of the season, and never made it past the elimination round. Noy Castillo was named most improved player of the 2001 Season after leading the hotdogs in scoring through out the year.

Ryan Gregorio

Altamirano concentrated his duties with the National team in 2002 as an assistant coach. Taking over for a while was his assistant, Ryan Gregorio. Gregorio led Purefoods to a successful championship run in the Governor's Cup defeating Alaska in seven games after trailing 0-2. It marked the second time they've beaten Alaska in a finals series despite dropping the first two games.

Kerby Raymundo, acquired from Red Bull prior to the start of the tournament was the Finals MVP. Derrick Brown was the conference Best Import while Rey Evangelista was the Best Player of the Conference.

However, Purefoods became a mediocre team in the Commissioner's Cup and the All-Filipino Conference finishing dead last in the succeeding conferences of the season. After the season, Ronnie Magsanoc won the Comeback Player of the Year Award and announced his retirement after he received the award. Gregorio and Coca Cola Tigers mentor Chot Reyes was named co-winners of the Coach of the Year Award.

In 2003, Gregorio was named as the head coach of the team as Altamirano was reassigned to the traveling SMC All-Stars (composed of former PBA all-stars). Purefoods each failed to enter the quarterfinals of the three conferences. In the Reinforced Conference, they have former NBA protege Lenny Cooke, but Cooke later suffered an injury to deny the Hotdogs a chance to enter the quarterfinals. It was the first Season that Purefoods failed to make the 20 win mark with a dismal 9-27 win loss card(A franchise Low)


Purefoods started rebuilding in 2002 when they got Kerby Raymundo from Red Bull to be it's new main man and in to give a great sidekick, They nabbed University of the East (UE) star and UAAP MVP James Yap with the second overall pick in the 2004 PBA Draft. Paul Artadi, Yap's teammate at UE and the PBL's Welcoat Paintmasters, was chosen by the team in the second round.

Patrimonio's retirement

During Patrimonio's birthday celebration on November 26, 2004 (Patrimonio's birthday was on November 17), he announced his retirement in an emotional speech, ending his illustrious 16 year career to concentrate his role as team manager.

His number was retired in December, becoming the first Purefoods player to have his jersey retired. Purefoods was the only team Patrimonio played for in the PBA. The rebuilding process began for Purefoods despite a dismal showing in the 2004 PBA Fiesta Conference. In the 2004-05 Philippine Cup, Purefoods was eliminated by the Shell Turbo Chargers in the quarterfinals. Same can be said in the 2005 Fiesta Conference, when Shell eliminated them in the same predicament.

Purefoods Chunkee Giants

Purefoods Chunkee Giants

Light uniform jersey
Light uniform jersey

Light uniform shorts
Light uniform

Dark uniform jersey
Dark uniform jersey

Dark uniform shorts
Dark uniform

Prior to the start of the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference, Purefoods replaced their TJ Hotdogs monicker with the Chunkee Giants. The Chunkee Giants was a reference to the team's new chunky corned beef product Purefoods Chunkee Corned Beef. Purefoods selected PBL MVP Jondan Salvador with the fourth pick in the first round of the draft.

Purefoods hired Marquin Chandler as import and Purefoods went on to record a 10-6 first place finish in the classification phase, earning them an outright semis berth.

The Giants beat the up and coming Air21 Express in six games of the semi-finals. However, they lost in the Finals of the tournament to Red Bull in six games. But their runner-up finish was the best since winning the 2002 Governors Cup. Chandler won Best Import honors while Kerby Raymundo lost to Enrico Vilanueva for Best Player of the Conference honors.

In the 2006 PBA Philippine Cup, the Chunkee Giants finished with a 12-4 record and a first-place finish in the classification phase, earning them an outright semi-finals berth for the second time this season. However, on May 14, Eugene Tejada suffered a freak injury in a game against Red Bull Barako, which led him to suffer serious injuries that paralyzed him. In the semifinals, Purefoods won the series in seven games after trailing the Alaska Aces 1-3, becoming only the second team since the 1991 Ginebra San Miguel team to come back from a 1-3 deficit in a PBA best-of-seven series. In six games, the Chunkee Giants won the 2006 Philippine Cup, 4-2, over Red Bull. It was Purefoods' first title since the 2002 Governors Cup, and the first All-Filipino Cup title since 1997. Marc Pingris was named as the Finals Most Valuable Player.

James Yap became the second Purefoods player to win season MVP award and was included in the Mythical Team. Kerby Raymundo and Roger Yap also was named to the mythical team

In the succeeding 2006-07 season, Purefoods managed to end up with a 10-8 win-loss record. In a knockout game for the second outright quarterfinals berth, the Giants came-from-behind to beat Sta Lucia to avoid going further down to the grueling wild-card phase.

In the quarterfinals, the Chunkee Giants lost to the Talk N' Text Phone Pals, 3-1. Despite a Game 1 victory, Purefoods lost the next three games convincingly by double figures and failed to repeat as champions of the Philippine Cup.

Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants

Purefoods has renamed its team to the Tender Juicy Giants for the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference. However, the team paraded with a depleted line-up. Forward-centers Kerby Raymundo and Marc Pingris were loaned to the national team and placed on injured list, respectively. James Yap was also facing issues regarding his marital problems with wife Kris and being snubbed from the National Team. Although Marquin Chandler returned for a second tour of duty with Purefoods, the team had a badly depleted frontline that saw them only Richard Yee and Arnold Gamboa manning the slot. Although James Yap successfully removed the distractions affecting his game following the birth of his first son James Jr., the Giants decided to get the next big man available in the PBA to help the team. As a result, they acquired Rommel Adducul from San Miguel Beermen thru a three-team trade with Red Bull Barako which also saw Enrico VillanuevaDon Camaso was the casualty of the trade as he was sent to Red Bull. Some PBA teams denounced the trade transaction because of the "restricted player" trade rule in which only top players could be traded for one another to avoid imbalance in the league. But the protests quickly subsided after the PBA approved the said trade after learning that Villanueva was removed from the restricted list and Adducul was finally allowed to play for the Giants. donning a Beermen jersey. Reserve

Purefoods was able to escape early elimination after beating the Welcoat Dragons in the last elimination round game. "Big Game" James Yap scored 41 points to lead the Giants to the wildcard phase, only to be knocked out by the Coca-Cola Tigers where he scored 40 points, which equalled former PBA player Nelson Asaytono's record of scoring 40+ points in back-to-back games, but failed to deliver the win for the team. For his efforts, Yap was picked by Chot Reyes to be part of the national team to play for the FIBA Asia Championship 2007 in Tokushima, Japan where the Philippines ninth out of 16 teams.

With no picks in the 2007 PBA Draft, the TJ Giants welcomed back Raymundo and Pingris to the team, while trading Paul Artadi for the Air21 Express for virtually nothing after a feud with the coaches (Artadi ended up playing in Ginebra). The Giants then had a 7-0 start at the 2007-08 PBA Philippine Cup with Yap having a banner conference. Despite losing the Christmas Day game against the Barangay Ginebra Kings, the Giants clinched the semifinals berth and the #1 seed on their next game thanks to a win against the Tigers. In the semifinals, they were up against Red Bull, the winner over the Magnolia Beverage Masters (new name of the Beermen) in the quarterfinals series. The Giants drew first blood in the semifinals by routing Red Bull but needed to win the 7th game to finally clinch their 12th AFC finals stint (The most by any team in history) against Sta. Lucia.

Purefoods Lost a controversial 7 game Series with Yap serving a suspension in game 5 after the Giants had come back from the grave 0-2. They managed to level the Series at 3-3 thanks to a classic fourth quarter performance by James Yap, nailing 5 of 6 Three point Attempts and scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter. Game 7 was almost a carbon copy of game number 6. Purefoods struggled in the thir quarter with Key players in foul trouble,and in the end It was Sta. Lucia who made the crucial shots down the stretch and won the game 100-88.


Under the Ayala Corporation, despite the changing names of the franchise, the colors blue and white remained as the team colors. When the San Miguel Corporation took over, red was incorporated into the team colors.

TJ Hotdogs light uniform jersey
TJ Hotdogs light uniform jersey

TJ Hotdogs light uniform shorts
TJ Hotdogs light uniform

TJ Hotdogs dark uniform jersey
TJ Hotdogs dark uniform jersey

TJ Hotdogs dark uniform shorts
TJ Hotdogs dark uniform

Chunkee Giants light uniform jersey
Chunkee Giants light uniform jersey

Chunkee Giants light uniform shorts
Chunkee Giants light uniform

Chunkee Giants dark uniform jersey
Chunkee Giants dark uniform jersey

Chunkee Giants dark uniform shorts
Chunkee Giants dark uniform

TJ Giants alternate uniform jersey
TJ Giants alternate uniform jersey

TJ Giants alternate uniform shorts
TJ Giants alternate uniform


PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

  • Jerry Codiñera - "The Defense Minister" played for Purefoods from 1988-1999; one of the top centers in the PBA during his stint with the team and was named Best Player of the Conference in 1994 and 1998
  • Bernie Fabiosa - "The Sultan of Swipe" played for Purefoods in 1990.
  • Ramon Fernandez - "The Franchise" played for Purefoods for 2/3's of the 1988 as part of the purchase of the Tanduay franchise; led the team to the finals but was later traded to San Miguel and won the MVP honors
  • Abet Guidaben - played for Purefoods in 1988 after being acquired from San Miguel for Mon Fernandez
  • Freddie Hubalde - played for Purefoods in 1988 as part of the purchase of the Tanduay franchise but later moved to Shell in 1989.
  • Jojo Lastimosa - "The Helicopter" played for Purefoods from 1988-1990 before being traded to Alaska. Was named Rookie of the Year in 1988.
  • Ronnie Magsanoc - "The Point Laureate" played for Purefoods from 2001-2002; member of the 2002 Governors Cup title squad and was named Most Improved Player that same season.
  • Alvin Patrimonio - "The Captain" played his entire career with the team (1988-2004) and was named the league's Most Valuable Player four times. Considered as the greatest player in franchise history.

Not to be forgotten

  • Alejo "Pongkee" Alolor
  • Paul "Kid Lightning" Artadi
  • Junel Mendiola
  • Frechie Ang
  • Nelson Asaytono
  • Gido Babilonia †
  • Bonel Balingit
  • Cris Bolado (Jumbo)
  • Elmer "Boy" Cabahug
  • Jessie Cabanayan
  • Santiago "Sonny" Cabatu
  • Glen Capacio
  • Benny Cheng
  • Harmon Codiñera
  • Arturo "Bai" Cristobal
  • Rommel Daep
  • Tony Dela Cerna
  • Ramon "Onchie" Dela Cruz (The Executioner)
  • Ruben Dela Rosa
  • Nani Demegillio
  • Egay Echavez
  • Rudy Enterina (Rudy E.)
  • Jolly Escobar
  • Teodorico "Boyet" Fernandez
  • Arnold Gamboa
  • Wilfredo "Willie" Generalao (The General)
  • Joey Guanio
  • Vince Hizon (The Prince)
  • Federico "Padim" Israel
  • Pido Jarencio (The Fireman)
  • Abe King (The Chairman of the Board)
  • Elmer Lago
  • Francisco "Frankie" Lim
  • Zandro "Jun" Limpot
  • Totoy Marquez
  • Jose Cadel Mosqueda
  • Peter Naron
  • John Marc Pingris
  • Ferdinand "Dindo" Pumaren (The Bullet)
  • Bryant Punsalan
  • Rodericko "Olsen" Racela (Rah-Rah)
  • Ferdinand "Bong" Ravena
  • Zaldy Realubit
  • Edmund Reyes
  • Elmer Reyes
  • Joey Santamaria
  • Rodney Santos
  • Genesis "Donking" Sasuman
  • Alvarado Segova
  • Andy Seigle
  • Alfonso "Al" Solis
  • Bong Solomon
  • Jun Tan
  • Ulysses Tanigue
  • Edgar "Jack" Tanuan †
  • Eugene Tejada
  • Richie Ticzon
  • Naning Valenciano
  • Manny Victorino
  • Jose Bernardo "JB" Yango
  • Jojo Lastimosa
  • Rysal Castro
  • Ervin Sotto
  • EJ Feihl
  • BJ Manalo
  • Jojo Lim
  • Rob Johnson


  • Flag of the United States Dwayne Johnson
  • Flag of the United States Harold Arcenaux
  • Flag of the United States Derrick "Flight 32" Brown - BEST IMPORT AWARDEE
  • Flag of the United States Marquin Chandler - BEST IMPORT AWARDEE
  • Flag of the United States Lenny Cooke
  • Flag of the United States Eddie Elisma
  • Flag of the United States Jojo English
  • Flag of the United States Ronnie Grandison - BEST IMPORT AWARDEE (but under SWIFT in 1995)
  • Flag of the United States "Sugar" Ray Hall
  • Flag of the United States Richard Hollis
  • Flag of the United States Darryl Johnson
  • Flag of the United States Mike Jones
  • Flag of the United States Jessie King
  • Flag of the United States Kurk Lee
  • Flag of the United States Bob McCann
  • Flag of the United States Marcus Melvin
  • Flag of the United States Lance Miller
  • Flag of the United States Perry Young
  • Flag of the United States Perry Moss
  • Flag of the United States Rodney Monroe
  • Flag of the United States Chris Morris
  • Flag of Nigeria Julius Nwosu
  • Flag of the United States Kelvin Price
  • Flag of the United States Darren Queenan
  • Flag of the United States Kenny Redfield - BEST IMPORT AWARDEE
  • Flag of Morocco Reda Rhalimi- 1st Morrocan import in the PBA
  • Flag of the United States Darius Rice
  • Flag of the United States Rob Rose
  • Flag of the United States Warren Rosegreen
  • Flag of the United States Walker Russell
  • Flag of the United States Dexter Shouse
  • Flag of the United States Clinton Smith
  • Flag of the United States Jay Taylor
  • Flag of the United States Patrick Thompkins
  • Flag of the United States Ronnie Tompkins
  • Flag of the United States David Thirdkill
  • Flag of the United States Cedric Toney
  • Flag of the United States Kenny Travis
  • Flag of the United States Jaime Walker
  • Flag of the United States Leon White
  • Flag of the United States Kennard Winchester
  • Flag of the United States David Wood

Retired numbers

  • 16 Alvin Patrimonio
  • 44 Jerry Codiñera (When he was traded to Mobiline, The Purefoods management decided that no Purefoods player will wear no.44 again to pay tribute to Codiñera's contributions to the team.)
  • Cris Calilan (1988)
  • Ramon Fernandez (1988)
  • Baby Dalupan (1989-1991 Open Conference)
  • Ely Capacio (1991 All-Filipino to Reinforced Conference)
  • Domingo Panganiban (1992)
  • Chot Reyes (1993-1996)
  • Eric Altamirano (1997-1998; 2001-2002)
  • Derrick Pumaren (1998-2000)
  • Chito Narvasa (1998)
  • Ryan Gregorio (2002 (interim); 2003-present)
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters logo
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters is the newest team in the Philippine Basketball Association, debuting on the 2006-07 PBA season. From 1996-2006, it was a member of the semi-professional Philippine Basketball League, carrying the name Welcoat House Paints, Welcoat Paintmasters and the St. Benilde-Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. The team acquired the franchise rights of the Shell Turbo Chargers, who disbanded after the 2004-05 PBA season.


Philippine Basketball League

Welcoat became a member of the Philippine Basketball League during the mid-90's, even PBA legend Samboy Lim suited up for the team, minus his traditional high socks. Their first championship came in the 1999 Challenge Cup, winning 3-0 over Red Bull Energy Drink.

Welcoat was considered as one of the two teams to enter the PBA before the 2000 season but lost out to Red Bull.

Since then the Paint Masters won five more championships, fielding in the best amateur and former Metropolitan Basketball Association players available, most notably Don Allado, Renren Ritualo, Yancy de Ocampo, Rommel Adducul, Ronald Tubid, James Yap, Paul Artadi and Anthony Washington.

One of their biggest rivals from 2000-2002 was Shark Energy Drink, with current PBA players Chester Tolomia (later joined Welcoat in 2004), Roger Yap and later Rain or Shine member Gilbert Malabanan, as both teams engaged in four straight finals series, splitting both series in the process.

In 2005, Welcoat changed its name to Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, one of the products of their parent company, Welbest. The Elasto Painters made it all the way to the finals of the Heroes Cup against Magnolia. After leading the series 2-0, Rain or Shine suffered one of the biggest collapses in league history as the Wizards won the series in five games.

In 2006 PBL Unity Cup, the Elasto Painters were swept in the semifinals by Toyota-Otis Sparks to end their four consecutive finals appearance, but placed third in a one-game playoff against Montana Pawnshop on June 8.

Prior to the start of Game 3 of the Unity Cup title series between Harbour Centre and Toyota-Otis on June 13, 2006, the league awarded the team with the Dynasty Award for their 10 years of success in the league. Several past and present members of the Welcoat franchise were on hand, as they brought their six championship trophies during the ceremony.

Philippine Basketball Association

Acquisition of the Shell franchise

After Shell's departure in 2005, the league gave Shell an ultimatum of until early 2006 to either announce their return to the league for the 06-07 season, or to sell the franchise to a prospective buyer.

In several press releases and interview, PBA Commissioner Noli Eala mentioned that some companies were interested in joining the league, although he did not stressed which of these companies were. One of Eala's vision was for the PBA to have a 12-team league. Welcoat suddenly came into the picture, expressing interest to buy the Shell franchise.

By January 2006, newspapers reported that the Welcoat team is nearing the completion of acquiring the Shell team. By February, the PBA announced the entry of Welcoat as the 10th PBA team for the 2006-2007 season.

People's Journal said that turnover was approved between P30-40 million, a big drop from the original P60 million the Turbo Chargers wanted. The Manila Times, however, reported that it was close to P55 million that Shell wanted.

Welcoat put out P60 million as bond for five years, P7 million for participation fee and another P6 million for transfer fee.

Pre-PBA preparations

As incentive, the PBA allowed Welcoat to grab three amateur players from their Rain or Shine PBL team. The Paint Masters named Jay-R Reyes, Junjun Cabatu and NCAA Most Valuable Player Jay Sagad as the three players from the core of its amateur team which they are elevating into the pros directly.

Welcoat also signed PBL veterans Nino Gelig, undrafted point guard Froilan Baguion, Jercules Tangkay and former Shell big man Adonis Sta. Maria. In the dispersal draft, Welcoat took Rob Wainwright and Gilbert Lao from Coca-Cola and Denver Lopez from San Miguel, in a dispersal draft.

In August 2006, Welcoat announced that they will be named as the Welcoat Dragons in their pro stint while also grabbing former UP Fighting Maroons players Abby Santos and Jireh Ibañes as the team's new rookies, although Santos failed to sign with the team.

2006-07: Inaugural season

In their PBA debut, Welcoat lost to eventual champion Barangay Ginebra Kings in the season-opening game of the 2006-07 PBA season, 102-69. Jojo Tangkay scored the team's first-ever basket in the league. Denver Lopez led the team with 12 points while rookie Jay-R Reyes had 10 for the Dragons.

The Dragons won their first win in franchise history on October 9 defeating Coca-Cola. Their next two victories came at the hands of the San Miguel Beermen and the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals. Despite a 3-5 record, Welcoat lost their next 10 games along with injuries to key players to end their campaign with a 3-15 record, the only team to be eliminated after the elimination round of the 2006-07 PBA Philippine Cup.

During the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference, the Dragons had two active imports, Wayland White and assistant coach Alex Compton. The other imports, Charles Clark and Rob Sanders, preceded White but had an injury. The Dragons are the first team to be eliminated in the Fiesta Conference, by the hands of the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants.

The Dragons finished with a 7-29 record for the 2006-07 PBA season and was awarded the first overall draft pick after they won in the draft lottery.

2007-08 season

Before the start of the 2008 PBA Fiesta Conference, Leo Austria resigned as head coach of the Dragons citing that the management wanted a new direction[1]. Assistant coach Caloy Garcia was named as interim head coach on March 18.

2008-09 season

A new name was inagurated for the Dragons----Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters. At the 2008 Annual Rookie Draft held at Market! Market!, Taguig, the team drafted Gabe Norwood as the no.1 overall pick. In the 2nd round, the Elasto Painters grabbed ex-DLSU Archer Tyronne Tang. 24 hours after the draft proper, the team traded last year's 1st overall pick Joe Devance to the Alaska Aces in exchange for Alaska's 1st round no.5 pick Solomon Mercado and veteran Eddie Laure.


PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

[edit] Other notable players

Includes people that played for the Welcoat franchise in the PBL.

  • Eugene Tan
  • Yancey De Ocampo
  • Ren Ren Ritualo
  • James Yap
  • Ronald Tubid
  • Rommel Adducul
  • Marc Pingris
  • Calijohn Orfrecio
  • Celino Cruz
  • Jojo Manalo
  • JR Reyes
  • Ronjay Enrile
  • Gilbert Malabanan
  • Marvin Ortiguerra
  • Mac Cuan
  • Caloy Garcia
  • Derrick Canlas
  • Dino Aldeguer
  • Anton Villoria
  • Allen Patrimonio
  • Ryan Dy
  • Marc Almonte
  • Joshua Dolor
  • Joseph Songco
  • Mark Alfonso

Red Bull Barako logo

Red Bull Barako is a professional team of the Philippine Basketball Association which entered the league in 2000. It was a part of the semi-professional Philippine Basketball League in the late 1990s where it won several championships.

Red Bull has won two Commissioner's Cups, in 2001 and in 2002 and the 2006 Fiesta Conference. Willie Miller became the first Barako to win the league MVP title in 2002.


Philippine Basketball League

Photokina Marketing joined the Philippine Basketball League during the mid-90's. They played under the name Agfa Color in the early days of their PBL stint. Once, they had San Miguel player Danny Ildefonso as one of their players along with his NU Bulldogs teammate Lordy Tugade and Jonas Mariano coming back from a knee injury with Ginebra the year before.

It also saw the talent of Cebuanos Jimwell Torion and Junthy Valenzuela along with other provincial cagers Rene Suba and Jun Carmona. Letran star Kerby Raymundo and Filipino-American Davonn Harp later joined the squad.

Agfa Color/Red Bull would always fall short of a title as Tanduay won several PBL championships at their expense. In 1999, they were among the best teams in the league but would lose to Welcoat Paints in the finals of Challenge Cup. In October, the PBA announced that Red Bull was accepted as the 10th member of the league beginning in the 2000 season.

2000: First season

The franchise played their first PBA season as the Batang Red Bull Energy Kings. Red Bull was allowed to take six players from their PBL team and took Kerby Raymundo, Davonn Harp, Lordy Tugade, Jimwell Torion, Junthy Valenzuela and Bernard Tanpua. PBL Commissioner Yeng Guiao, a former PBA coach, resigned his post to join Red Bull as coach in the PBA. They also got Ato Agustin from the expansion pool.

After losing their opening game to Barangay Ginebra Kings, they won two more games to improve to 2-3. But, the league disqualified Raymundo from playing. It was discovered that he had falsified his documents, claiming he graduated from high school in 1996, when actually he finished his secondary studies a year later. Mick Pennisi also arrived as a solution to the team's lack of height. The games won by the Energy Kings were nullified. Red Bull finished 10th and failed to enter the quarterfinals.

In the Commissioners Cup, Jack Hartman became Red Bull's first import but failed to show anything promising for Batang Red Bull which failed to enter the quarters once again. Before the end of the tournament, the Energy Kings get Raymund Tutt as replacement. Tutt scored 56 points in his PBA debut, which still stands today as the high points scored by a Red Bull player in a single game.

Tutt returned for the Governors Cup, and the renamed Thunder made a strong showing to finish in third place at the end of the tournament, their first trophy in the league. Davonn Harp was named Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.

2001-2002: Championship years

During the Rookie Draft, Red Bull selected former Letran Knight and MBA star Willie Miller as its first overall pick. Former Letranite Kerby Raymundo also was allowed to return for Red Bull for the upcoming season.

In 2001, Red Bull finished seventh in the All-Filipino Conference and met eventual champion San Miguel Beermen in the quarterfinals. With the Thunder needing to win twice to advance to the semis, Batang Red Bull shocked the Beermen winning the first game by double-figures, but lost in the deciding game capped off by Danny Seigle's three-pointer to seal SMB's win.

Former Duke University and NBA standout Antonio Lang bannered the Thunder in the Commissioners Cup. After a sub-par performance in the tournament opener, Lang proved to be the right import for Red Bull. The Thunder advanced to their first finals appearance against the mighty San Miguel Beermen. Red Bull took the first two games of the series behind strong performances by Lang and Harp. The Beermen later tied the series at 2-2 which saw a physically intense battle that saw several suspensions on the Red Bull side. But in Game five, Red Bull won 79-77 after a potential game-tying basket by San Miguel import Kwan Johnson was blocked from behind by Miller with no time left. In Game six, Lang recovered from a four point outing in Game five to lead Red Bull to their first PBA championship. Lang was also named as Best Import of the Commissioners Cup.

In the Governors Cup, Tutt returned for the team in hopes of claiming back-to-back title, but the Thunder was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Harp was loaned by Red Bull to the national team in 2002. The Thunder was eliminated by eventual champion Purefoods in the quarterfinals.

In the Commissioners Cup, Harp returned for Batang Red Bull along with Antonio LangJulius Nwosu. The Thunder dominated the tournament, eliminating Shell in the quarterfinals and the Beermen in the semis to face the Talk N' Text Phone Pals in the finals. Four games into the series, Lang was replaced by another NBA veteran in Sean Lampley. Lang was even accused of game-fixing, which he denied. With Lampley, Red Bull overcame a 2-3 deficit to win an emotional Game seven for their second PBA title. and

Red Bull's hope for a second title was denied in the All-Filipino as Alaska booted them out in the semis.

2003: Post-championship

In 2003, The Thunder used their first round pick to select 2002 UAAP MVP Enrico Villanueva from Ateneo de Manila to bolster Red Bull's frontline. Red Bull went 10-1 in the early goings of the All-Filipino Cup before finishing with a 14-4 record. However, their 0-3 record in the quarterfinals eliminated them from title contention. The All-Filipino also saw the suspensions of Harp and Torion for testing positive for taking illegal substances.

Red Bull Barako logo from 2003 to 2007.
Red Bull Barako logo from 2003 to 2007.

Batang Red Bull renamed the team as Red Bull Barako for the Invitational tournament. They managed to enter the semis but was defeated by Alaska in a one-game showdown.

After a 1-2 start in the Reinforced, the Barakos hired former Charlotte Hornet and Chicago Bull Scott Burrell as import. Red Bull won 10 games to finish with a 11-2 record entering the quarterfinals. They were upset by Talk N Text in the opening round. But the deciding game was marred by a vicious clothesline of Torion on Phone Pals' point guard Jimmy Alapag. The incident gave Torion an eight-month suspension, later reduced to only four.

2004-05: Rebuilding

Red Bull made its third Finals appearance in 2004, losing to eventual champion Barangay Ginebra in the transitional tournament dubbed as the Fiesta Conference. The Barakos fielded in six imports during the said conference but its last import Victor Thomas won Best Import honors.

During the 2004-2005 Philippine Cup, Red Bull was decimated with the departures of alleged Fil-Shams (Filipino-Americans that did not prove their Filipino blood) Mick Pennisi and Davonn Harp, who were deported after the Department of Justice found them to have falsified their documents.

But the event paved the way for guys like Tugade, Valenzuela and Enrico Villanueva to shine as Red Bull recovered to place fourth in the 2005 Fiesta Cup. The former Ateneo center won the Most Improved Player honors.

2005-06: Back-to-back finals appearances

Red Bull became somewhat of a flashback to the Ateneo Blue Eagles squad of UAAP 2002 when Larry Fonacier and Paolo Bugia were drafted by the team in the second round of the PBA Draft in August.

The Bulls won their third PBA title during the 2005-06 PBA Fiesta Conference defeating the Purefoods Chunkee Giants in six games. Enrico Villanueva won the Best Player of the Conference honors while Lordy Tugade was named as the Finals MVP.

During their title run, the Bulls replaced import Quemont Greer in place of a more team-oriented James Penny at the start of the quarterfinals. Red Bull swept Alaska in the quarterfinals while surviving a seven-game tussle with crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra Kings in the semi-finals.

The championship gave Yeng Guiao his fifth PBA title, tying former Toyota mentor Dante Silverio for sixth on the all-time PBA list.

Before the Philippine Cup, Red Bull acquired the services of another former Atenean, Rich Alvarez, from Alaska. While the Bulls were highly favored to win the title, they started the tournament with a 3-6 record. However, they won six of their final seven games to finish with a 9-7 win-loss card in the classification phase, clinching an outright quarterfinals berth.

Red Bull survived a five-game clash with rival Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals. This was after the crowd-favorite Kings led the series 2-1, but the Bulls won the last two games by a combined margin of more than 50 points. The Bulls faced the San Miguel Beermen in the semifinals when controversy struck the Bulls, after they staged a mini-walkout during Game Four of their series. They eventually returned to the court and lost by double figures. This led to a 400,000 peso fine on the team, 100,000 on head coach Yeng Guiao, 6,000 for player Lordy Tugade and 1,000 for a member of the team's personnel.

However, Red Bull managed to beat San Miguel Beer in seven games after a buzzer-beating shot by Junthy Valenzuela to seal a two-point victory for the Bulls, setting up a rematch of the Fiesta Conference finals series against Purefoods. The Bulls, though, lost to Purefoods in six games, denying them of a chance to sweep all championships in the 2005-06 season. Larry Fonacier was named as the 2005-06 PBA Rookie of the Year with Villanueva named to the Mythical Five selection.

2006-07 season: Semifinal eliminations

The Bulls had only one pick in the 2006 PBA Draft and selected Ateneo shooting guard Magnum Membrere with the 19th overall pick. The move triggered another addition to the team's dominant lineup of former players from the Blue Eagles lineup. In the middle of the elimination round, Red Bull traded 2005-2006 Fiesta Cup Finals MVP Lordy Tugade to the San Miguel Beermen alongside reserve Omanzie Rodriguez in exchange for future draft picks.

The Barakos also added former Shell Turbo Charger Carlo Sharma into their line-up during the off-season. The addition of Sharma gave the Barakos, who only has main man Enrico Villanueva as its legitimate low-post threat, additional ceiling and inside presence.

In the Philippine Cup, Red Bull placed third after the elimination round with a 11-7 win-loss card and an outright quarterfinals berth in which they defeated the Sta Lucia Realtors, 3-1. In the semifinals, Red Bull lost against the San Miguel in seven games that highlighted by several physical encounters by both teams during the series.

Red Bull gained the top seed in the Fiesta Conference but dealt Enrico Villanueva to San Miguel Beermen for Rommel Adducul. The former MBA MVP was later shipped to the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants and exchange for Don Camaso and 2008 Second Round Pick.

Despite the strong performance of Larry Fonacier and the emergence of Cyrus Baguio, Red Bull lost to Talk N' Text led by the strong performance of Mark Cardona in a six-game series.


PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

  • Ato Agustin - one of few players selected from the expansion draft in 2000; played from 2000-2001
  • Vergel Meneses - played for Red Bull in the 2004-05 season

[edit] Other notable players

  • Nelson Asaytono - played for Red Bull from 2002-2006
  • Lowell Briones - played in 2001
  • Glen Capacio - one of few players selected from the expansion draft in 2000; played in the 2000 season. Current Head Coach of the FEU Tamaraws in the UAAP
  • Larry Fonacier - played for team from 2005-2007; 2005-2006 Rookie of the Year; Traded to San Miguel, now plays for the Alaska Aces
  • Davonn Harp - selected from the PBL squad; played for team from 2000-2004 before leaving the country due to citizenship issues
  • Noli Locsin - played for Red Bull in 2002
  • Willie Miller - the first, and currently only player to be selected first overall in the draft by franchise history; played from 2001-2003 and won the 2002 PBA Most Valuable Player Award. Now plays for the Alaska Aces
  • Kerby Raymundo - selected from the PBL squad; played for team from 2000-2001. Currently playing for purefoods
  • Lordy Tugade - part of the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference champion team where he was awarded the Finals MVP. currently playing for Magnolia
  • Jimwell Torion - selected from the PBL squad; played for team from 2000-2006
  • Enrico Villanueva - played for team from 2003-2007; won Best Player of the Conference and Most Improved player honors during his Red Bull stint. Currently playing for Purefoods
  • Vince Hizon - played in 2001
  • Ato Agustin - first team captain of the team when they made it's debut in the PBA
  • Junthy Valenzuela - the first, and currently only player to be selected first overall in the draft by franchise history; played from 2000-2008 plays for the Barangay Ginebra Kings

[edit] Imports

  • Thaddeus Delaney - franchise's first-ever import in the 2000 Commissioners Cup
  • Jack Hartmann - franchise's import in the 2000 Commissioners Cup
  • Raymund Tutt - played for Red Bull in 2000 and 2001 seasons; holds franchise record of 56 points in one game
  • Antonio Lang - played for Red Bull in 2001 and 2002 seasons; led Red Bull to the 2001 Commissioners Cup titles and was named as the Best Import of the said tournament
  • Joseph Bunn - played for Red Bull in 2002
  • Julius Nwosu - played for Red Bull in 2002; leading the team to the 2002 Commissioners Cup title
  • Sean Lampley - played for Red Bull in 2002; leading the team to the 2002 Commissioners Cup title
  • Scott Burrell - played for Red Bull in 2003; led the team to 10th straight wins upon his arrival
  • Victor Thomas - played for Red Bull in 2004; named Best Import of the 2004 Fiesta Conference
  • Dalron Johnson - played for Red Bull in the 2005 Fiesta Conference
  • Earl Barron - played for Red Bull in the 2005 Fiesta Conference before joining the Miami Heat in the 2005-06 season
  • Quemont Greer - played for Red Bull in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference
  • James Penny - replaced Greer in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference, leading the team to the title
  • Adam Parada - played for Red Bull in the 2008 PBA Fiesta Conference
  • Jimmy Mariano (PBL)
  • Nat Canson (PBL)
  • Gil Lumberio (PBL)
  • Yeng Guiao (2000-Present)

San Miguel Beermen logo

The San Miguel Beermen is a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) team. They are a member of the league since its inception in 1975 and hold the most PBA titles with 17. The team's franchise is owned by the Philippines' largest food and beverage conglomerate, San Miguel Corporation. Magnolia is one of three PBA ball clubs owned by SMC affiliates and subsidiaries. The others are the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants and the Barangay Ginebra Kings.


San Miguel is one of nine companies who broke away from the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association in 1975 due to their dismay with the Basketball Association of the Philippines. This led to the formation of the first professional basketball league known as the PBA.

MICAA days

Even at the very start, San Miguel Brewery had a team in the pre-war MICAA. And it was similar to the UAAP or the NCAA where basketball was but one of the sports the employees played. There was MICAA competition for baseball, volleyball, football, among other games. But as always it was basketball which became prominent.

A 1971 lineup was mentioned in this thread

San Miguel Braves

  • 4. Belmonte
  • 5. Worley Cuevas
  • 6. Rolando Marcelo
  • 7. Wilfredo Velasco
  • 8. Orlando Castelo
  • 9. Richard Palou
  • 10. Alejandrito Miego
  • 13. Manuel Paner
  • 14. Rosalio Martirez
  • 15. David Regullano
  • 18. Ernesto Estrada
  • 19. Ernesto Morales
  • Coach: Ignacio "Ning" Ramos

For more on the fans account on the famed MICAA,

Manny Paner, Rosalio Martirez, and David Regullano are all members of the 1973 squad that won the Asian Basketball Confederation Chmapionships held in Manila. Regullano and the late Rogelio "Tembong" Melencio alternated in shackling the high-scoring Shin Dong Pa.

Royal Tru-Orange

In their first PBA season, they were known as Royal Tru-Orange, an orange juice soda of their parent company San Miguel Corporation under the Coca-Cola brand. Royal finished third place in all three conferences in 1975.

Royal was bannered by center Manny Paner, forward Estoy Estrada and point guard Yoyong Martirez. Both Paner and Estrada made it to the Mythical Team. [1] In the import-laden Open Conference, they paraded the high-scoring Carl Bird.

Manny Paner and Estoy Estrada became free agents in 1977 and they later signed with Presto and Toyota, respectively. San Miguel signed shooter Valerio delos Santos and center Marte Samson to replace their departed stars in a cost-cutting move.

1979 was the time when the team had two imports of unlimited height playing together - these were the 6'9 Otto Moore and the 6'7 Larry Pounds. They faced Toyota in the Finals of that best of five series which they won in four games. Moore and Pounds were backstopped by a crew made up of a lot of Visayan cagers like Tony Torrente, Yoyong Martirez, Jess Migalbin, Salvador Ramas, Melchor Ravanes plus a host of others like Rudy Lalota, Leo Paguntalan, ex-PSBA standout Ramon Dizon, and ex-UV Lancer Marlowe Jacutin. The team was coached by ironically, future Toyota coach Ed Ocampo.

Royal Tru Orange was the second team in PBA history to break the Crispa-Toyota stranglehold as far as winning championships were concerned. The year before, in 1978, UTex was the first team to do so when they beat Crispa for the title. [2]

San Miguel Beermen

San Miguel Beer
San Miguel Beer

San Miguel won the 1982 PBA Invitational tournament, defeating the Crispa RedmanizersToyota was also favored to win the Rookie of the Year award but he instigated a free-for-all against the national team of South Korea and by way of penalty, Terry Saldaña was taken out of the Rookie of the Award race. [3] in three games with Tommy Manotoc as head coach. Marte Saldaña won Rookie of the Year honors that year after coming over from the MICAA ranks. He complemented well with Best Import Award winner Norman Black and was instrumental in San Miguel's winning its second championship in 1982 Invitationals against Crispa. Another Saldaña, Antero or Terry of

After Manotoc left to coach Crispa for the 1983 season (which later resulted in a grand slam), San Miguel (was also known as Gold Eagle Beer) managed to win just one third place finish for the next two seasons. In 1985, Gold Eagle changed its name to Magnolia Quench Plus, a product of an SMC subsidiary, but despite the efforts of import Norman Black, Magnolia failed to enter the championship chase.

Disbandment and return

Magnolia folded after the 1985 season, this was due to the political climate that happened at the height of the first EDSA Revolution, which led to the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos. Chairman Danding Cojuangco, a well-known Marcos crony fled the country.

Following its disbandment, the former Magnolia players were absorbed by a new PBA team in Alaska Milk for the 1986 season. But the San Miguel franchise emerged under the Magnolia Cheese banner during the final months of the season.

In 1985, the famed Northern Consolidated team won several international basketball tournaments with Samboy Lim, Allan Caidic and Hector Calma, including the PBA Reinforced Conference. The NCC team was funded by Cojuangco, but the program was halted a year later due to the change in government.

With Magnolia's return in final months of 1986, the team absorbed Lim, Calma, Franz Pumaren, Elmer Reyes, Yves Dignadice, Alfie Almario, Pido Jarencio and Tonichi Yturri from the core of the NCC team but failing to qualify for the semi-finals. The start of 1987 PBA season brought new hope for the team. Magnolia's prized catch, however, was former Crispa and Manila Beer stalwart Abet Guidaben. Import Norman Black began his coaching career at this time. Ricardo Brown was also added to the squad after acquiring the former MVP from Great Taste.

Magnolia finished third in the Open and All-Filipino Conferences. By the Reinforced tournament, the team reverted back to its old name San Miguel Beer. While the Beermen would later wear their traditional red and white jerseys, they wore a green and white color during the conference.

With Bobby Parks as import, San Miguel was able to win the conference and the franchise's first in five years defeating the Hills Bros Coffeemakers, led by the Bruise Brothers' trio of Yoyoy Villamin and Ricky Relosa, in five games.

Guidaben was named season MVP but not without controversy. Many people thought that Villamin was more deserving than Guidaben.

Grand Slam era

San Miguel continued its winning ways in the 1988 PBA season season by winning the Open Conference that year. After placing fourth in the next conference, San Miguel traded Guidaben to Purefoods for Ramon Fernandez. The trade was executed in the height of a disagreement between Fernandez and Purefoods management.

With Fernandez, the Beermen regained another championship by defeating Shell Rimula-X in the finals of the Reinforced Conference. Fernandez won his fourth and last Most Valuable Player Award.

In 1989, San Miguel began one of the greatest seasons in league history. The Beermen defeated Shell led by Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc in the Open Conference, 4-1. In the All-Filipino Conference, San Miguel defeated a young but hungry Purefoods team in six games. At season's end, San Miguel completed the PBA's third grand slam by trouncing Robert Jaworski's Anejo Rhum 65 in five games with the enlistment of quality import and former Chicago Bull Ennis Whatley.

At the time, San Miguel joined Crispa (1976, 1983) as the only squads to win the coveted grand slam.

"El Presidente" was a prime candidate to win his fifth MVP, but Fernandez was denied by Paras, who became the first and still the only player to win the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in the same season. He was however, hailed the MVP by the Philippine Sports Press Corps.

Early 1990s

San Miguel went titleless for the next two seasons, but in 1992, San Miguel defeated Purefoods in seven games to capture the All-Filipino Cup. Ato Agustin became a star on the San Miguel lineup winning the Most Valuable Player Award. However, some believe that Swift's Nelson Asaytono could have won it.

Following Presto's (formerly Great Taste) disbandment in 1993, San Miguel acquired shooter Allan Caidic. The trio of Agustin, Samboy Lim and Caidic in 1993 proved to the peak of San Miguel's backcourt strength. It was during this time that San Miguel's back court is the yard stick of all PBA teams at that time.

San Miguel won the Governor's Cup crown with Kenny Travis as import. At this time, it was the Beermen's 10th PBA title, surpassing Toyota for second on the all-time list.

1994 Asian Games

In 1994, the league announced that the winner of the All-Filipino Cup would represent the Philippines in the forthcoming 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima. San Miguel faced Coney Island for the championship, which the Beermen won 4-2. However, with several key San Miguel players suffering from multiple injuries, the team had no choice but to add several players from other PBA teams and in the amateur ranks.

Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codiñera, Rey Evangelista and Johnny Abarrientos from the pros and amateurs Marlou Aquino and Kenneth Duremdez were among those added to the mix. At one point, San Miguel wore the national team colors during the Commissioner's Cup, only to lose to Swift for third place.

At the Asian Games, the SMB-led national team failed to bag a single medal by ending up in fourth place behind China, Korea, and Japan. However, Allan Caidic was the Asian Games basketball tournament leading scorer and was named in the Asiad All-Star Mythical Five Team.

After the season, Fernandez announced his retirement from the PBA after a stellar 20 season career that spanned three decades.

In 1995, San Miguel was struggling to maintain its ranks as among the best teams in the league with Sunkist and Alaska were dominating at the time. But San Miguel broke Sunkist's dream of a grandslam by entering the finals of the Governors Cup, only to lose to Alaska in a seven game showdown.

Mid-1990s decline

San Miguel's struggles would continue in 1996, the team finished third in the All-Filipino while nabbing fourth in the season-ending Governor's Cup. Early in the year, San Miguel traded Agustin to Sunkist for known-scorer Nelson Asaytono. The third conference saw the arrival of Lamont Strothers to the PBA. After the season, Norman Black left the team and became the head coach of Mobiline. Replacing him was former NCC coach Ron Jacobs.

Before the 1997 season ever began, controversy surrounded the hiring of Ron Jacobs, due to objections by the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP). The BCAP believes that it endangers the chance of local coaches to enter the PBA. But, Jacobs remained coach of San Miguel for the league's 23rd season. [4]

With San Miguel in a sort of a rebuilding mode, Jacobs was able to mold young players like Olsen Racela, Mike Mustre as well as veterans Asaytono, "Mr. Excitement" Bong Alvarez, Dignadice and Art Dela Cruz into a strong team each conference. San Miguel won third place in all three conferences of the '97 campaign. The Beermen failed to enter the finals in the Commissioner and Governors Cups, respectively, losing in two do-or-die games against Gordon's Gin and Purefoods. Jeff Ward was the import during the second conference while Larry Robinson played for SMB in the third conference.

Asaytono was a candidate to win the Most Valuable Player Award but lost to Purefoods' Alvin Patrimonio.

In 1998, San Miguel drafted Noy Castillo as the second overall pick in the PBA Draft. But, Castillo was quickly shipped to Shell in exchange for National University standout Danny Ildefonso.

The Beermen made a strong showing in the All-Filipino Conference but lost to Alaska in the Finals in seven games. In the Commissioner's Cup, San Miguel brought back Strothers to replace Jeff Ward during the tournament. SMB made its return to the finals but was defeated by Milkmen in the rematch of the All-Filipino Cup, this time in six games.

After the conference, Racela was loaned to the PBA Centennial team. As incentive, all PBA teams were allowed to hire two imports for the Governors Cup. Strothers and Robinson teamed up for San Miguel, but with their height disadvantage against other teams, the Beermen failed to either win the special Centennial Cup or the season-ending Governors Cup.

Ron Jacobs resigned after two seasons with the Beermen. His assistant coach and former NCC protégé Jong Uichico took over as coach.

Jong Uichico era

New coach Jong Uichico began his first season with San Miguel in 1999. As part of the PBA's new rule to allow each one direct-hire Filipino-foreigner, San Miguel acquired the services of Danny Seigle, younger brother of then Mobiline center Andy, to bolster the team along with former Pop Cola guard Boybits Victoria.

However, San Miguel struggled in the All-Filipino Cup and was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Formula Shell. One of their finest moments was during a match against Mobiline and star center Asi Taulava. San Miguel's 67-66 squeaker on Asaytono's two clutch free-throws handed the Phone Pals its first defeat after winning their first seven games.

In the Commissioner's Cup, San Miguel tapped former Mobiline import Terquin Mott. Mott, a known temperamental player during his first stint in the league, molded well with his local teammates as San Miguel was able to make a strong showing in the elimination round. San Miguel also part way with Asaytono, shipping him to Pop Cola for Nic Belasco and Dwight Lago. The Beermen upset the defending champion Alaska Milkmen in the semis to enter the Finals against All-Filipino winner Formula Shell with Benjie Paras and import John Best. San Miguel won the first two games of the series before Shell tied the series at 2-2. But the Beermen won the last two games to win their 12th PBA crown and their first in five years.

In the Governor's Cup, San Miguel brought back Strothers as the Beermen cruised into the Finals of the said tournament against Alaska. The Milkmen even led the series at 2-1 but San Miguel was able to win the last three games to win their second straight championship in six games.

Seigle was named as the Rookie of the Year at season's end and also threatened to beat Paras for the MVP plum, but the "Tower of Power" won the 1999 MVP.

San Miguel failed to win the 2000 All-Filipino Cup by finishing fourth in the tournament. The Beermen, however, defended the Commissioner's Cup trophy, with NBA veteran Stephen Howard on the lineup, defeating Sta. Lucia. In the Governor's Cup, with Strothers back, they defeated Purefoods in five games for their 15th PBA title. Danny Ildefonso won his first Most Valuable Player Award at the end of the season.

In 2001, they were favorites to win the All-Filipino Cup and San Miguel did so to enter the finals against sister team Barangay Ginebra and prized rookie Mark Caguioa. After the series was tied at 2-2, SMB survived in overtime to win Game Five and blew out the Kings in Game Six to capture their first All-Filipino title in seven years.

San Miguel was now favored to win the grand slam, but the young Batang Red Bull Thunder upset SMB in the finals of Commissioner's Cup in six games while the Sta. Lucia Realtors, behind former SMB mentor Norman Black defeated his former club 4-2 in the season-ending Governor's Cup.

Ildefonso, meanwhile won his second consecutive MVP in 2001. Some observers though believe that it could have been Ildefonso or teammate Danny Seigle who deserves to win the award.

Ildefonso, Racela, newly-acquired Dondon Hontiveros, Seigle and coach Jong Uichico concentrated their time with the RP National team in the 2002 season. Meanwhile, San Miguel was left with only Dorian Pena and Boybits Victoria on the team. San Miguel fielded in Strothers and later former NBA veteran Mario Bennett for the Governor's Cup. After the Beermen finished eighth in the elimination round, SMB upset the Talk N' Text Phone Pals in the quarterfinals but was eliminated by Alaska in the semi-finals and finished fourth in the tournament. Strothers announced his retirement after the tournament.

In the Commissioner's Cup, San Miguel took Shea Seals and Art Long as import. But the temperamental Long got into a dirty scuffle with Red Bull import Antonio Lang during a game despite San Miguel finishing in fourth after the elimination phase. Terquin Mott replaced Long before the end of the elims. After eliminating Coca-Cola in the quarters, Red Bull eliminated them in the semis before finishing third.

In the All-Filipino, San Miguel was decimated by Danny Seigle's injury with the national team. Racela, Ildefonso and Hontiveros returned for San Miguel but they were eliminated by Coca-Cola in the semis to finished third for the second-straight conference.

San Miguel returned for the 2003 on a bright note. After the elimination round of the All-Filipino, they finished first in Group A to qualify for the quarterfinals phase of the tournament. But the Beermen failed to enter the semis after finishing 1-2 in the single-round robin format. Their great finish in the All-Filipino helped the Beermen qualify for the Invitational tournament, but San Miguel failed to advance to the semis.

In the first Reinforced Conference in more than a decade, San Miguel fielded in several lemon imports before settling on former Sta. Lucia import Kwan Johnson. After a 0-5 start, San Miguel went 10-3 the rest of the way to enter the Finals, but lost in seven games to the Coca-Cola Tigers.

17th title

San Miguel was once again favorites to win championships in the 2004-05 season. Art Long made his return as import for San Miguel in the 2004 Fiesta Conference, a transition tournament. Long and the Beermen powered its way to a 9-0 start before finishing the tournament in first place after the eliminations. But once again, San Miguel failed to enter the semis after a 1-2 record in the quarterfinals.

In the 2004-2005 Philippine Cup (formerly the All-Filipino Cup), the Beermen finished the classification phase with an even 9-9 record. In the quarterfinals, San Miguel swept the Sta. Lucia Realtors in a three-game series. Then, the Beermen also swept Alaska in the quarterfinals. In the semis against sister rival Barangay Ginebra, the Beermen took a 2-1 series in the best-of-five affair but the Kings won the next two games to win the series, that capped with Rodney Santos' game-winner in the deciding game. The Beermen then beat Shell to cop third-place in the tournament.

Chris Burgess was San Miguel's import for the 2005 Fiesta Conference. San Miguel finished the classification phase in second place to gain an outright semi-finals berth. Midway to the semis, Burgess was replaced by Ace Custis and became an effective replacement for San Miguel. The Beermen eliminated Red Bull in the semi-finals to enter the Finals against the Talk N' Text Phone Pals. The Beermen defeated the Phone Pals 4-1 to give the team its 17th PBA title in team history and ended its four year title drought; it was also the first time in their last six championships that they've won a title with Danny Seigle as a non-factor in the playoffs. He was injured for almost the entire semi-finals and played only in Game 5 of the Finals. It was Jong Uichico's sixth PBA crown as coach.

After their performance a year ago, San Miguel was heavily favored in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference to defend their crown. They added import Rico Hill to bolster the lineup along with former Shell Turbo Charger Chris Calaguio.

But SMB's high expectations became a disappointment. The Beermen started off with a 0-4 record before winning a game against Air21 Express in Aklan. Hill was replaced by Kwan Johnson but the Beermen lost four more games to fall to 1-8. But the Beermen won the next five games; Johnson was suffering an injury and was temporarily replaced by Kevin Freeman. The Beermen finished with a 6-10 card and eighth place in the nine-team classification phase.

Johnson returned in time for San Miguel against sister team Coca-Cola in the survivor round. The Beermen has a twice to beat edge, but the Tigers won the first encounter on January 6. A day later, Ildefonso's game-winner propelled the Beermen to the next round. In the Wildcard phase against the Express, they end up losing in three games.

Before the start of the 2006 PBA Philippine Cup, San Miguel traded its veteran forward Nic Belasco to the Alaska Aces for guard Brandon Cablay. In a separate move, the Beermen acquired Wesley Gonzales from the Air21 Express and shipped Eugene Tejada to sister team Purefoods. The Express was supposed to send Homer Se to Purefoods, but failed to pass his physical, and was returned to the Air21 squad. The Cablay trade was seen as a preparation for the possible retirement of point guard Olsen Racela.

After a 1-2 start in the tournament, the Beermen won the next eight games before finishing with a 11-5 record. Their second place tally send the Beermen to an outright semifinals berth, a huge improvement from their disappointing run in the Fiesta Conference. The Beermen's surge also saw Danny Seigle's numerous scoring outburst, norming 20 points in almost all of the games he played during the conference.

However, in the semifinals, they were upset by the Red Bull Barako in seven games. San Miguel won Games 2, 4 and the sixth game to level the matchup to a seventh game. However, in Game 7, the Beermen lost on a last second shot by Junthy Valenzuela, eliminating them from the tournament. In a one-game matchup for third place, San Miguel lost to Alaska 102-95 to finish fourth in the 2006 Philippine Cup.

Chot Reyes and Siot Tanquincen

In the offseason, San Miguel Corporation moved national team head coach Chot Reyes to the Beermen as its head coach while sending Jong Uichico to coach the Barangay Ginebra Kings. In the 2006 PBA Rookie Draft, the Beermen selected LA Tenorio (fourth overall pick) and Gabby Espinas (fifth overall pick) in one of the rare incidents in which San Miguel drafted players from the rookie draft.

After an 0-3 start in the tournament plus the injuries of Seigle and Ildefonso, the Beermen received Rommel Adducul and Lordy Tugade from Ginebra and Red Bull, respectively, in a three-team trade. This led to San Miguel winning 13 of the next 15 games to finished with a 13-5 record and an outright semifinals berth.

In the semis, the Beermen defeated Red Bull in seven games that was highlighted by physical encounters by both squad in the series which also involved Red Bull's head man Yeng Guiao. In the Finals, the Beermen were beaten by the Barangay Ginebra Kings in six games.

In the recent 2007 Fiesta Conference, Chot Reyes took a leave to form and coach the national basketball team for the FIBA Asia Championships. For a few games, Biboy Ravanes was hired as the team's interim coach but soon San Miguel faltered to a slow start.

Soon, former Ginebra head coach and assistant coach Siot Tanquincen was moved to the Beermen to be its interim tactician. However, fortunes didn't change as they suffered to a horrible 0-6 start and later 2-8 after fielding imports Vidal Messiah and Paul McMillan.

But then, San Miguel won soon won eight games with the arrival of the team's third import, Galen Young. SMB wound up with a 10-8 win-loss card to end the elimination round, only to lose to Air21 in a knockout match for the second outright quarterfinals berth.

At this time, the Beermen shipped Rommel Adducul to Red Bull for prized center Enrico Villanueva in a controversial trade which also involved sister team Purefoods, which snagged Adducul after trading reserve Don Camaso.

SMB was relegated to the wild-card playoffs but beat Sta. Lucia in the first knockout game of the phase and then pulled off the first of what was dubbed as the "Beeracle Run" over Coca-Cola in which they came back from a four-point deficit with 13 seconds to go to advance against Ginebra in the quarters.

There, the Beermen exacted revenge on Barangay Ginebra Kings by beating them in three full games. The Beermen entered the Fiesta Conference semifinals only to lose to Alaska in six hard fought games and placed fourth in a loss to Red Bull for the consolation third place trophy.

Magnolia Beverage Masters

Magnolia Beverage Masters
Image:Magnolia Beverage Masters logo.gif

{{{title}}} jersey
{{{title}}} jersey

{{{title}}} shorts

{{{title}}} jersey
{{{title}}} jersey

{{{title}}} shorts

After 20 years of carrying the San Miguel name, San Miguel Corporation radically changed the team name to Magnolia Beverage Masters starting the 2007-08 PBA season.

Prior to the change, they named Tanquincen as its permanent coach while they acquired Larry Fonacier from Red Bull. In the 2007 PBA Draft, Samigue Eman and Jonas Villanueva were taken in the first round.

Former Rookie of the Year Mike Cortez and potential star Ken Bono were dealt by Alaska for Beverage Masters LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier in a blockbuster trade.

In what could be one of the biggest single-day trade in PBA history, Magnolia acquired Marc Pingris from Coca-Cola in exchange for a future draft pick. [1]

2008-09 season

In 2008, the team again reverted to its old name, San Miguel Beermen.

In the 2008 PBA Draft, the team used its 3rd pick in the 1st round to select Jason Castro, then traded Castro to Talk 'N Text for forward Jay Washington. They also drafted Bonbon Custodio using their 8th pick, also in the 1st round, during the draft.


PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

  • Ato Agustin - "The Atom Bomb" named 1991 PBA Most Improved Player & 1992 PBA MVP as a member of the team
  • Lim Eng Beng - played for San Miguel in 1982
  • Ricardo Brown - "The Quick Brown Fox" acquired by the team from Great Taste and played his final playing years with the team, the PBA's All-Time leader in average points with 23.1 ppg in his whole career.
  • Allan Caidic - "The Triggerman" acquired in 1993 from the disbanding Presto Ice Cream, he played six seasons with the team and later became playing assistant coach.
  • Hector Calma - "The Director" was a key point guard of the team during their glory years in the late-1980's.
  • Ramon Fernandez - "El Presidente"/"The Franchise" acquired from Purefoods in 1988, he won MVP honors that same year despite playing 1/3 of the season with the team. He played six more seasons with the team.
  • Abet Guidaben - named 1987 PBA MVP as a member of the team
  • Samboy Lim - "The Skywalker"/"The Dragon" played his whole career with San Miguel and was known for his fearless drives to the basket that often leads to injuries. He is one of the most popular figures in franchise history.
  • Manny Paner - played for the team during the Royal Tru-Orange years and also during the Magnolia years.
  • Benjie Paras - "The Tower of Power" made a short comeback in the PBA with the team in 2003.

Other notable players

  • Allan Abelgas
  • Freddie Abuda- "the Scavenger" is a 4-time Defensive Team member & 2-time Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 & 2000.
  • Rommel Adducul -"The General"
  • Alfredo "Alfie" Almario- team captain of the 1989 Grand Slam team. †
  • Paul Alvarez- "Mr. Excitement"
  • Joselo "Josel" Angeles
  • Nelson Asaytono- "the Bull" / "the Dynamo"
  • Vegildo "Gido" Babilonia- "Prinsipe K" †
  • Noli Banate
  • Nic Belasco
  • Rudolph "Udoy" Belmonte
  • Crisanto "Jumbo" Bolado
  • Roel Bravo
  • Gilbert Castillo
  • Alvin Castro
  • Ricardo "Ricky" Cui- many SMB fans consider him a member of the 1989 Grand Slam team though officially he was only part of the first two conference championships that year.
  • Arturo "Art" dela Cruz- 3-time Defensive Team member & 1995 Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Anthony Dasalla
  • Yves Dignadice- member of the 1989 Grand Slam team.
  • Ramon Dizon
  • Robert Duat
  • Estoy Estrada
  • Bryan Gahol
  • Dante Gonzalgo- "the Bicol Express"
  • Jeffrey Graves- member of the 1989 Grand Slam team.
  • Alfredo "Pido" Jarencio- "the Fireman"
  • Robert "Bobby" Jose- "the Firecracker" was a member of the 1989 Grand Slam team. A PBA All Star during his rookie year.
  • Abe King- "the Chairman of the Board"
  • Dwight Lago
  • Rudy Lalota
  • Federico "Bokyo" Lauchengco
  • Frankie Lim
  • Renato "Etok" Lobo
  • Romeo "Romy" Lopez
  • Joey Loyzaga
  • Yoyong Martirez
  • Joey Mente
  • Jess Migalbin
  • Mike Mustre
  • Edward Naron
  • Victor "Vic" Pablo
  • Ronnie Padilla
  • Leo Paguntalan- "the Horse"
  • Joseph "Jake/Jeg-Jeg" Pelaez
  • Dong Polistico - "the Police"
  • Edgardo "Dong" Postanes
  • Franz Pumaren- "the Missile" was member of the 1989 Grand Slam team.
  • Bryant Punzalan
  • Kevin Ramas
  • Melchor "Biboy" Ravanes
  • Ferdinand "Bong" Ravena- 1992 PBA Rookie of the Year
  • Elmer Reyes - "Marco Polo" was member of the 1989 Grand Slam team
  • Marte Saldaña- "The Mighty Mite" was the 1982 PBA Rookie of the Year
  • Gerry Samlani
  • Alvin Teng- "Robocop" was the 1988 PBA Most Improved Player, a member of the 1989 Grand Slam team, the 1993 PBA All Star MVP & 1993 PBA Defensive Player of the Year and a 4-time Defensive Team member.
  • Julian Rabbi Tomacruz
  • Tony Torrente
  • Joseph "Joey" Valdes
  • Boybits Victoria
  • Anton Villoria
  • Antonio "Tonichi" Yturri- member of the 1989 Grand Slam team.



  • 2 of its line-up came from Ateneo de Manila University namely Olsen Racela and Wesley Gonzales.
  • Four SMB players have won the Most Valuable Player during their tenure with the team. They were Abet Guidaben (1987), Ramon Fernandez (1988), Ato Agustin (1992) and Danny Ildefonso (2000-2001).
  • Four SMB players have won the Rookie of the Year honors in history. They were Marte Saldana (1982), Bong Ravena (1992), Danny Ildefonso (1998) and Danny Seigle (1999).
  • Allan Caidic (1995 Governors Cup), Nelson Asaytono (1997 All-Filipino and 1998 All-Filipino), Danny Seigle (1999 Governors Cup and 2005-2006 All-Filipino ) and Danny Ildefonso (2000 Commissioners and Governors and 2001 Commissioners and Governors) are the only four San Miguel players to win the Best Player of the Conference Awards.
  • Seven Beermen have won the Best Import Awards in history. They were Norman Black (1982 Reinforced, 1985 Open), Bobby Parks (1987 Open), Kenny Travis (19931997 Commissioners Cup), Larry Robinson (19971999 Commissioners Cup) and Lamont Strothers (1999 Governors Cup) Governors Cup), Jeff Ward ( Governors Cup), Terquin Mott (
Sta. Lucia Realtors logo

The Sta. Lucia Realtors (SLR) is a Philippine Basketball Association team. It is coached by Boyet Fernandez.

The Universal Robina Corporation team is one of the founding members of the PBA. Formerly known as Great Taste and Presto-Tivoli Ice Cream, they have won a number of championships. Sta. Lucia Realty & Develpoment, Inc., a real estate corporation, bought the franchise in 1993.


Great Taste/Presto/Tivoli

Great Taste was a charter member of the PBA back in 1975, joining eight other teams in forming the first professional basketball league in Asia.

The Coffeemakers' best years were the mid-1980s. Great Taste had Fil-American Ricardo Brown as the 1985 Most Valuable Player along with former Crispa standouts Atoy Co, Bernie Fabiosa and Philip Cezar and former Toyota rival Abe King. Amateur star Allan Caidic joined the team in 1987 to form a strong nucleus under former Redmanizer tactician, the great Baby Dalupan. From 1985 to 1987, the Coffeemakers won three PBA titles (1985 Open, All-Filipino and 1987 All-Filipino).

Before the end of the 1980s, Great Taste used the Tivoli Milk or Presto Tivoli monicker. By 1990, Presto Tivoli, under former national team member Jimmy Mariano, won the All-Filipino Conference by defeating Purefoods in seven games with Triggerman Allan Caidic winning the prestigious Most Valuable Player award.

In 1991, Allan Caidic, scored 79 points with 17 three-pointers in a game against Añejo on November 21, 1991, it was one of the best ever individual performance in the history.

Before the end of 1992, Presto management announced the sale of the franchise and by 1993 PBA season, Sta. Lucia Realty bought the franchise rights. Sta. Lucia was considered as a new PBA team, so therefore the past records and history of the Gokongwei franchise were not included in Sta. Lucia's history.

PBL Days

Sta. Lucia's contribution can be traced back to the Philippine Basketball League during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Marlou Aquino once was a member of the Sta. Lucia PBL team. Afterwards, Sta. Lucia moved up to the pros to take over the old Presto team.

String of third place finishes

Sta. Lucia Realtors logo from 1993 to 2000
Sta. Lucia Realtors logo from 1993 to 2000

Prior to the start of the season, Caidic moved to San Miguel Beer, leaving the Realtors with a few holdovers from the old Presto lineup including Vergel Meneses, Bong Hawkins (later traded to Swift and Alaska, respectively) and Gerry Esplana. Other players who joined the team within the season (through trades and free agent signings) were Bong Alvarez, Ric Ric Marata, Jack Tanuan and Johnedel Cardel.

But, Sta. Lucia had the top pick in the draft and selected amateur star Zandro "Jun" Limpot of De La Salle University-Manila. With Limpot carrying the new Sta. Lucia team for the 1993 season, the Realtors managed to surprise everyone with a semi-finals appearance that led to a fourth place finish in the All-Filipino Conference. Limpot was named as the Rookie of the Year after the season.

One of Sta. Lucia's first imports was Lambert Shell, who played during the Commissioner's Cup. The team's head coach during its first few years was former PBA coach Nat Canson.

Limpot/Espino Tandem

In 1995, Sta. Lucia selected University of Santo Tomas star Dennis Espino as their first round draft pick. But his PBA debut was further delayed after suffering a nose injury during an exhibition game held in the Middle East.

Filipino-American Chris Jackson and Jose Francisco were also acquired in the 1993 draft, veteran shooter Romy dela Rosa later joined the team to form a solid squad to complement Limpot and Espino.

Espino managed to return Sta. Lucia late in the season and the Realtors copped a third place trophy in the Governor's Cup.

Two more third place finishes were collected by Sta. Lucia during the 1995 All-Filipino and Commissioner's Cups, with Frederick Pea as import. From 1996, SLR captured another third place finish in the Commissioner's Cup with Adonis Tierra as head coach.

At this point, Sta. Lucia's best year was in 1997 when the Realtors finished third in the All-Filipino, and fourth in the Commissioner's Cup and Governor's Cup. The ironic part was that they took on San Miguel in all Battle-for-Third games under former Purefoods head coach Chot Reyes, while the Realtors selected Jason Webb as the third overall pick in the draft.

Reyes left the team in 1998, replacing him with Derrick Pumaren, Limpot's former coach at La Salle and Magnolia in the PABL. Esplana and Jackson were later traded to Formula Shell for Ronnie Magsanoc. It was at this time that Magsanoc hit his 1,000 career third-pointer. The Realtors entered the semis of the All-Filipino Cup, but were defeated by San Miguel in a do-or-die match for the last Finals berth.

SLR struggled in the Commissioner's Cup with Ronnie Coleman, brother of then-Philadelphia 76ers forward Derrick Coleman, missing the quarterfinals. Espino and Limpot were later loaned to the Philippine Centennial Team and the Realtors continued to struggle in the Governor's Cup.

In 1999, Limpot and Espino returned for Sta. Lucia but lost Romy dela Rosa to the Metropolitan Basketball Association. But, the Realtors added former MBA star and 1992 PBA MVP Ato Agustin with Tierra returning as the head coach. Still, the Realtors placed dead last in the All-Filipino.

Fil-American Robert Parker and Parker's college teammate Kwan Johnson joined the team in the 1999 Commissioner's Cup. The addition of both Parker and Johnson revived the franchise and eventually led to a fourth-place finish in the tournament. However, it was proven that Parker was a fake Filipino-American and left the Philippines afterwards, leaving Johnson as Sta. Lucia's import for the Governor's Cup. Sta. Lucia owner Exy Robles and the Realtors management were charged by the government for hiring Parker. The charges were later dropped.

The departure of Parker left the Realtors to a struggling performance in the season-ending Governor's Cup. Johnson was eventually replaced by Joe Temple during the course of the tournament.

First Championship

Before the 2000 season, Limpot was traded to the Barangay Ginebra Kings for Marlou Aquino, to solidify the big man position of the team. Former grand slam winning coach Norman Black took over the Sta. Lucia's new coach. They also had the No. 1 pick in the draft and took University of the Philippines guard Paolo Mendoza. The Realtors made it only to the quarterfinals of the All-Filipino Cup.

In the Commissioner's Cup, Ansu Sesay was Sta. Lucia's import and the Realtors surprised everyone in this tournament. After placing second in the eliminations, they made it to the championship series for the first time in franchise history, only to lose to the talented San Miguel Beermen in five games. Sesay was named as Best Import of the said tournament.

With Joe Temple as import for the Governor's Cup, the Realtors did not make it past the quarterfinals. The same results can be said of the 2001 All-Filipino and Commissioner's Cup.

However, in the Governor's Cup, Damian Owens was Sta. Lucia's import and the Realtors dominated the tournament to secured their second finals appearance against the heavily-favored San Miguel team.

After both team's split their series in Game Four, the Realtors won both Games 5 and 6. Game Six was the most dramatic as the game was tightly contested. After San Miguel import Lamont Strothers tied the game at 72 with an off-balanced runner, Chris Tan hit a 24-foot three-pointer with three seconds remaining to give Sta. Lucia the lead for good to win their first-ever PBA championship with a 75-72 Game 6 win and a 4-2 series victory.

Owens was the Best Import of the Conference while Gerard Francisco was the Finals Most Valuable Player.

Post-championship decline

In 2002, Sta. Lucia was not able to return to the Finals in each of the three conferences, thus failing to defend their Governor's Cup crown. After the season, Norman Black announced his resignation as head coach of Sta. Lucia, replacing him with former Tanduay mentor and Black's chief assistant Alfrancis Chua.

Chua has the knack for being in the right place at the right time, thus, covering up for his obvious lack of coaching talent. Even with the vast array of talent present in his squad he has yet to produce a championship during his tenure as coach.

During the 2003 PBA Draft, Sta. Lucia shocked everyone by trading their fifth overall pick to Alaska for 1998 MVP and the Aces' star player Kenneth Duremdes. With Duremdes joining Aquino and Espino, the Realtors became one of the favorites to win any of the three conferences for the 29th season.

However, Sta. Lucia placed fourth in the All-Filipino, did not qualify for the special PBA Invitational tournament and secured another fourth place finish in the Reinforced Conference. Espino and Aquino, however, made it to the Mythical Team during the annual awards night.

In the 2004 PBA Fiesta Conference, with former Purefoods import Derrick Brown as reinforcement, the Realtors blew a double-digit lead to lose to eventual champion Barangay Ginebra Kings in the wildcard knockout phase of the tournament. This caught the ire of Chua, who even brought the whole team to the Commissioner's Office to protest the way officiating was handled.

The Realtors were again eliminated in the wildcard phase of the 2004-05 Philippine Cup after they were swept by San Miguel. In the 2005 Fiesta Conference, Sta. Lucia blew a twice-to-beat advantage in the wildcard phase and was eliminated by the soon departing Shell Turbo Chargers. Former Cincinnati Bearcat Ryan Fletcher was the Sta. Lucia import.

2005-06 season

In the 2005 PBA Draft, Sta. Lucia used the second-overall pick to draft point guard Alex Cabagnot. Cabagnot had a solid performance in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference, along with former PBL refugee Chester Tolomia, but Sta. Lucia managed to finish seventh in the classification phase. The Realtors were swept by Alaska in the quarterfinals, losing the two games by a huge margin.

The Realtors finished with a 4-12 record in the classification phase of the Philippine Cup. However, the Realtors played in the wildcard playoff phase, which gave Sta. Lucia a chance to earn the final quarterfinals berth in the tournament. However, the Realtors won only one game during the wildcard phase to bow out of the tournament with a 1-2 record, defeating Talk N' Text in their final game of the season.

2006-07 season

In the offseason, Sta Lucia had a big dispute with their point guard Alex Cabagnot, after the latter returned to the United States before a scheduled postseason team meeting. After months of failing to communicate with the team, and also playing for a Los Angeles-based summer league squad, the team handed out an indefinite suspension. But Cabagnot has since mended fences with the Realtors management and was able to play during the season.

During the 2006 PBA Draft, the Realtors selected Filipino-American Kelly Williams as its first overall pick in the draft. They also nabbed Mark Isip (6th overall) and Mark Magsumbol (13th overall) in the said draft.

In the Philippine Cup, Sta Lucia was able to pull off a surprising start in the conference, due to great performances by their younger player such Williams, Cabagnot and veterans Marlou Aquino, Dennis Espino and Kenneth Duremdes. However, a late slump followed a one-game playoff loss to Purefoods relegated the Realtors in the wildcard phase. Despite a 1-2 win-loss record, Sta Lucia was able to gain a berth in a knockout game due to their superior record in both the classification and wildcard phase. The Realtors defeated the Air21 Express 121-118 to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2003 Reinforced Conference. However, Sta Lucia lost 3-1 to Red Bull in the five-game series despite a Game 1 victory.

After the tournament, Alfrancis Chua was relieved off his duties as head coach and was moved to a position as consultant. He was replaced by assistant coach Boyet Fernandez.

The Realtors paraded Rock Winston as import for the 2006-2007 Fiesta Conference. Recently, Sta. Lucia dealt Kenneth Duremdes, Alex Cabagnot and Ricky Calimag to Coca-Cola for Denok Miranda, Manny Ramos and a 2008 second round draft pick. Later on to the tournament, they replaced Winston for Jamaal Williams. They went 2-6 with Williams and got booted out in the wild card phase of the tournament by San Miguel Beermen.

Second Championship

Sta. Lucia ended the elimination round of the All-Filipino Cup with 8 straight wins to get one of the two outright semi-finals slots along with the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants. In the semifinals that reached the maximum seven games, the Realtors relied on Kelly Williams and Ryan Reyes to barge into their first Philippine Cup finals berth by beating the Alaska Aces. They further shocked PBA aficionados by winning the championship series in seven games against the #1 seed Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants to win the 2007-08 PBA Philippine Cup, the 2nd championship title of the franchise ever since entering the league in 1993. Sta. Lucia surprised everyone once more when they won the 2007 PBA Philippine Cup with flying colors. Xavier stalwart Nelbert Omolon gunned for 40 points to beat Air 21 in their last elimination game. Sta. Lucia bagged the first automatic semifinal berth and cruised through the playoffs, beating Alaska in the semifinal. The real challenge for the young Realtor team was the finals, when they went 2-0, but lost two straight games, and the series went down to the deciding Game 7, with Sta. Lucia winning the game, ans the series against Purefoods. Kelly Williams was named Conference MVP while Dennis Espino was the Finals MVP.

2007-08 season

The Realtors underwent a major overhaul in their roster. Coach Boyet Fernandez retained only 6 players from the previous roster and went on to tap undiscovered talent on the rookie free agent pool. Fernandez decided to get deserving players who have not got the chance to play in the PBA. The realtors got Ryan Reyes, a standout PG from the PBL and Melvin Mamaclay, standout player from NBC thru the draft. Sta. Lucia also obtained the services of Dennis Daa, Christian Coronel and Phillip Butel from the rookie free agent pool. The team also obtained the services of former Green Archer Joseph Yeo to complement the fast game of Reyes and Williams and to add the slashing presence that the team had lacked in previous years. Now, Sta. Lucia makes everybody pay. All players provide spark and inspiration to their game. Adapting to the new rules that fits the physicality of the Sta. Lucia game, the team is making progress. They are able to blow out other teams, and to win closely contested games against very talented and 12- man deep teams like Magnolia and Talk n'Text, although there has been a great improvement in the team's character and roster, Sta. Lucia still lacks the offensive patterns that will make it a very deadly team. The Sta. Lucia game is still rather inconsistent. They'll be able to blow out other teams then they will just get blown the next game. Inconsistency and offensive patterns are the problems the team has for now, but the season is still early and fans and optimists believe that this is the year of the Realtors.


PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

  • Kenneth Duremdes - "Captain Marbel" recently played for Sta. Lucia; was with the team since 2003. Traded to Coca-Cola Tigers along with Alex Cabagnot and Ricky Calimag.
  • Ronnie Magsanoc - "the Point Laureate" played for the team from 1998-2000
  • Vergel Meneses - "The Aerial Voyager" played for the team in 1993

Other notable players

  • Francis Adriano
  • Peter Aguilar (#13)
  • Renato "Ato" Agustin (#6)
  • Paul "Bong" Alvarez (#30)
  • Felix Belano (#42)
  • Alex Cabagnot (#5)
  • Elmer "Boy" Cabahug (#9)
  • Ricky Calimag (#24)
  • Johnedel Cardel
  • Cesar Catli (#6)
  • Benny Cheng
  • Gabby Cui (#81)
  • Ricardo "Ricky" Cui (#51)
  • Alejandro "Andy" de Guzman (#62)
  • Angelo David (#38)
  • Reuben Dela Rosa
  • Romeo "Romy" Dela Rosa (#57)
  • Richard Del Rosario
  • Gerald "Gerry" Esplana (#14)
  • Expedito "Noynoy" Falcasantos (#15)
  • Teodorico "Boyet" Fernandez III (#11)
  • Gerard Francisco (#11)
  • Jose Francisco (#9)
  • Rene "Bong" Hawkins Jr. (#16)
  • Mark Isip
  • Christopher "Chris" Jackson (#3)
  • Peter "Apet" Jao (#8)
  • Zandro "Jun" Limpot (#9, #72) - 1993 PBA Rookie of the Year
  • Luis Manuel "Noli" Locsin (#6)
  • Ric Ric Marata
  • Vergel Meneses (#18)
  • Wilmer Ong
  • Mike Orquillas
  • Marvin Ortiguerra
  • Adriano "Addy" Papa Jr. (#19)
  • Robert "Rob" Parker (#23)
  • Rizaldy "Zaldy" Realubit (#35)
  • Gilbert "Jun" Reyes Jr. (#5)
  • Omanzie Rodriguez
  • Christopher "Chris" Tan (#10, #1)
  • Hercules Tangkay
  • Edgar "Jack" Tanuan (#41)
  • Toying Teves (#27)
  • Chester Tolomia
  • Jimwell Torion
  • Robert Wainwright
  • Jason Webb (#1)
  • Dino Santos(#21)


  • Bobby Allen
  • Lee Benson
  • Derrick Brown
  • Ronnie Coleman
  • Ryan Fletcher
  • Sean Green
  • Kwan Johnson
  • Mike McGee
  • Lelan McDougall
  • Damian Owens
  • Frederick Pea
  • Kenny Redfield
  • Ansu Sesay
  • Lambert Shell
  • Joe Temple
  • Victor Thomas
  • Ray Tutt
  • Omar Weaver
  • Leonard White
  • Leon Whitehead
  • Jamaal Williams
  • Wesley Wilson
  • Rock Winston
  • Nat Canson
  • Adonis Tierra (1996;1999)
  • Chot Reyes (1997)
  • Derrick Pumaren (1998)
  • Norman Black(2000-2002)
  • Alfrancis Chua (2003-2007)
  • Boyet Fernandez (2008-present)

Talk 'N Text Phone Pals logo

The Talk 'N Text Phone Pals is a Philippine Basketball Association team.

Prior to its current name it was owned by Pepsi Philippines of the Lorenzo family and was granted an expansion franchise prior to the 1990 PBA season. The Pepsi Bottlers also used the names 7-Up Bottlers and Pepsi Mega in their campaigns, netting no championships.

In 1996, telecommunications company Pilipino Telephone bought the franchise and renamed it the Mobiline Cellulars and later the Mobiline Phone Pals which later won the special 1998 PBA Centennial Cup. After being absorbed by Smart Communications in 2001, the team was again renamed, this time as the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals, after a prepaid cellular phone service. They have since won a title in four finals appearances and remains as one of the league's powerhouses.


Under the Pepsi brand

Pepsi Mega was accepted as one of two new members of the PBA during the 1990, joining soft drink rival Pop Cola. During its first season, Pepsi won only two games out of the 30 games. Import Derrick Hamilton had 77 and 78 point games from the stretch of February 17 and March 1.

In 1991, Pepsi became a competitive team, taking fourth place in the Third Conference.

In 1992, they were known as the 7-Up Bottlers, one of the brands which Pepsi (Philippines) bottled and marketed in the Philippines.

7-Up would place runner-up in the 1992 Third Conference. Their import was an NBA veteran point guard by the name of Delano Demps. They would be swept by the Swift Mighty Meaties led by Tony Harris in the finals 4-0. Seven-Up was also bannered by players Manny Victorino, Abet Guidaben, Eugene Quilban and Naning Valenciano. Quilban recorded 28 assists during a game that year, which is still a PBA record.

The team reverted back to Pepsi Mega, and also used the 7-Up name at one point. Pepsi placed fourth in the 1993 Governor's Cup and a third-place finish in the 1994 Governors Cup with import Ronnie Coleman.

Before the 1995 season, Pepsi and Sunkist were involved in a rare coaching trade that saw Derrick Pumaren moving to the RFM franchise for Yeng Guiao. Despite the coaching change, Pepsi's on and off performance continued in 1995, despite a strong start in the Governor's Cup, in which they had a 5-2 win-loss card but never took home a trophy at the end of the tournament.

Mobiline Cellulars

Before the Commissioner's Cup of the 1996 season, Pepsi Mega was renamed as the Mobiline Cellulars, a product of communications company Piltel. There is some confusion or lack of information on how the team was renamed from a soft drink product to a cellphone brand. One fan from explained his own take.

My opinion is that the Piltel franchise came to be only in 1996 even if then Pepsi owner Luis "Moro" Lorenzo was somehow a stockholder of Piltel. My recollection is that when Mobiline became the "new name" of Pepsi Mega, it was Choy Cojuangco who was already running the basketball operations of the team. He then eventually turned the reins over to his brother (?) Tonyboy who thereafter, sold his shares to Manny Pangilinan and the Metro Pacific Group.

The team still retained the lineage of the old Pepsi teams in the past as prove in the Official PBA Annual, Hardcourt, in which the win-loss record of Pepsi from 1990-1995 are attached to the Mobiline teams.

The Cellulars retained the old Pepsi team with point guard Eugene Quilban leading the team. But the name change did not help the Cellulars contend for the crown.

Mobiline Phone Pals

In 1997, Mobiline took the first overall pick of the draft and used it to draft Filipino-American Andrew John Seigle. The Cellulars also drafted Patrick Fran, Tony Boy Espinosa. Mobiline hired former San Miguel coach Norman Black and acquired 1995Alaska. Rookie of the Year Jeffrey Cariaso from

In the All-Filipino, the Cellulars advanced to the semi-finals but faltered in the Commissioner's Cup with Isaish Morris as reinforcement. In the Governor's Cup, they paraded Artemus "Tee" McClary and hired a new coach in Derrick Pumaren and Tommy Manotoc as consultant. Mobiline posted a decent finish in the Governors Cup but failed to enter the semis.

In 1998, the Phone Pals struggled in the All-Filipino with a 4-7 record. In the Commissioner's Cup, another change was done as it hired former Purefoods mentor Eric Altamirano. The Pals, like in the '97 Governors Cup were eliminated in the quarterfinals with Terquin Mott as import.

Centennial Cup Champions

Andy Seigle and Jeffrey Cariaso were borrowed by the national team for the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. They captured the 1998 PBA Centennial (the Philippines was then celebrating it's 100th anniversary of the independence from Spain) Cup by beating Shell by a hairline, 67-66, in ovetime led by imports Silas Mills and McClary, with the help of veteran locals Glen Capacio and Al Solis. However, the Centennial Cup was a special tournament and the title was not considered as an official championship.

The records after the elimination round of the tournament was carried over in the Governor's Cup. The Pals retained their winning way and advanced to the finals in a rematch with the Zoom Masters. Mobiline held a 3-2 series lead but lost the last two games to wind up in second place. Mills would end up winning the Best Import of the Governors Cup.

Asi Taulava era

Seeking for bigger things in 1999, the Pals acquired Filipino-Tongan Paul Asi Taulava to man the Pals frontline along with Seigle. Mobiline started the All-Filipino with a 7-0 record before losing a crucial game to San Miguel. The Pals end up with the best record after the elimination phase but was defeated by a gritty Barangay Ginebra Kings squad despite a twice to beat advantage on Bal David's incredible last second shot.

The rest of the year, Mobiline would be eliminated in the quarters during the Commissioner's and Governor's Cup while Taulava's eligibility as a legitimate Filipino-foreigner was questioned. During the midseason, Mobiline traded Andy Seigle to Purefoods for veteran Jerry Codinera.

2000 saw some lineup change for the Phone Pals as it acquired Vic Pablo in the three-team trade that sent Jeffrey Cariaso to Tanduay and Mark Telan to Shell Velocity.

Taulava would be deported later in the year as the Pals were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the All-Filipino with new coach Louie Alas. The Pals wound up with the best record in the elimination phase of the Governor's Cup. After surviving a quarterfinals meeting with Barangay Ginebra, Purefoods eliminate Mobiline in four games. The Phone Pals finished 4th after losing to Batang Red Bull Thunder in a knockout game for third place.

Talk 'N Text Phone Pals

In 2001, the Phone Pals tried to acquired Kenneth Duremdes through free agency but Alaska matched Mobiline's offersheet of a reported 48 million pesos and stayed with the Aces.

The Phone Pals drafted former Manila Metrostar Gilbert Demape but the Phone Pals, for the sixth time in seven conferences was eliminated by top seed Shell in the quarterfinals.

In the Commissioner's Cup, the Pals bannered Michigan University standout Jerod Ward who exploded for 61 points in his debut. Later, Taulava returned to the Philippines after an apporval by the Justice Department but despite that the Phone Pals failed to get past the quarterfinals. The Governor's Cup was also the same fate for the Phone Pals despite changing their name to Talk 'N Text and having Brandon Williams as import.

Under foreign coaches

Before the 2002 season, Alas was fired by Talk 'N Text and hired former UNLV coach Bill Bayno despite numerous calls by the nationalist Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines to ban the American mentor. Although they lost Asi Taulava and Patrick Fran to the National Pool, Talk 'N Text was bannered by Richie Frahm and Jerald Honeycutt, a replacement for an original import. The Phone Pals end up as the top team in the elimination phase of the Governor's Cup but suffered the same fate as 1999 when the eighth seed San Miguel Beermen upset the Pals.

But Talk 'N Text finally broke the spell in the Commissioner's Cup, led by Honeycutt and Pete Mickeal, the seventh seeded Phone Pals defeated Sta. Lucia in the quarterfinals and Alaska in a five game semis affair to enter their third Finals appearance in team history, and the first since 1998. In the end, Red Bull defeated Talk 'N Text in seven grueling games.

Bayno later left the team, but without some parting shots on the PBA when he accused the league of favoring the San Miguel Corporation teams.

In the All-Filipino, Taulava returned to the team after his national team stint in the Asian Games but the Phone Pals got the early boot in the quarterfinals under new head coach Paul Woolpert, another American coach who replaced the departed Bill Bayno.

In 2003, the Phone Pals used two first round picks to draft Fil-Americans Harvey Carey and Jimmy Alapag, who was with the RP national pool in 2002. The Pals struggled early in the All-Filipino and midway to that tournament, Woolpert left the team and was replaced with Ateneo coach Joel Banal, who led the Blue Eagles to the UAAP title in 2002.

2003 All-Filipino Championship

Since then, Talk 'N Text rose to the tournament and captured the All-Filipino Cup over defending champion Coca-Cola in six games. After an overtime win in Game Five, the Phone Pals became the first team since 1982 to come back from a 0-2 deficit to win the next four games after a hard-fought Game Six victory. Taulava was named as the PBA Finals MVP, after winning the Best Player of the Conference award.

2007-2008 SMART PBA Philippine Cup

On November 18, 2007, the Smart PBA Philippine Cup was played between the Talk N Text Phone Pals and Coca Cola. The game was dominated early by Coca Cola, but the Talk N Text Phone Pals turned the game around and ended up winning comfortable, 113-82. The win was a very dominating performance, considering the narrow one-point loss to Welcoat, 125-126 on November 09, 2007. The game was tied when the Phone Pals hit a two-point basket with only two seconds remaining. Against all odds, Welcoat hit an audacious three-point field goal to win the game.

Post-championship era

They also qualified in the 2003 PBA Invitationals were four guest teams were invited. Joel Banal left the team for the moment to concentrate on the Ateneo Blue Eagles stint in the UAAP. The Pals did not qualify for the semis but not without controversy. Needing to win by eight points over Red Bull Barako to qualify, the Phone Pals deliberately fouled several Red Bull players in the last two minutes to force an overtime or even reached the needed eight point margin. The game turned out to be more disgraceful when Jojo Manalo tried to hit a three-pointer on Red Bull's basket. The incident led to a hefty fine and a five game suspension to acting coach Ariel Vanguardia.

In the revived Reinforced Conference, Talk 'N Text was bannered by Damien Cantrell but the Phone Pals finished with a 7-6 mark, good for 4th place in Group B. They upset the top seeded Red Bull Barako 2-1 that ended with Jimwell Torio'Ns clothesline on Jimmy Alapag's face that led to the latter's suspension for eight months, which was later reduced.

But in the semis, Talk 'N Text was swept by eventual champions Coca-Cola, but the Phone Pals captured third place in the tournament after beating Sta Lucia in a one game playoff for third place.

Asi Taulava became the first Filipino-foreign player since Ricardo Brown in 1985 to win the coveted Most Valuable Player award. Jimmy Alapag won the Rookie of the Year honors to wrapped up the Phone Pals' incredible year.

2004-05 season

Joel Banal resigned as Ateneo head coach to concentrate on the Talk 'N Text team. In the 2004 PBA Fiesta Conference, the Phone Pals were bannered by 2002 MVP Willie Miller and Yancy de Ocampo in separate deals with Red Bull and FedEx.

The Phone Pals made it to the semis of the tournament, but lost in a three-game showdown with crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra Kings.

In the 2004-05 Philippine Cup, the Phone Pals placed second in the classification phase to qualify for the semi-finals. The Phone Pals swept the Shell Turbo Chargers but was defeated in six games by Barangay Ginebra.

During the said tournament, Asi Taulava was considered by the Department of Justice as one of six Filipino-foreigners suspected of falsifying their documents. Taulava was suspended by the PBA indefinitely, along with five other players.

Taulava gained some advantage from the Quezon City RTC, but the PBA still didn't gave Taulava the go-signal. In the Finals of the Philippine Cup, the Phone Pals used Taulava despite the league's refusal to allow Taulava. Talk 'N Text reasoned a court order that allows Asi to play in the series. The Phone Pals wound up winning Game One by double figures, but the game was forfeited two days later, awarding the win to Barangay Ginebra. The Phone Pals later announced that they will not allow Taulava to play for the rest of the series.

In the 2004-05 Fiesta Conference, the Phone Pals finished first after the classification phase, earning an outright semi-finals berth. In the semis, the Phone Pals eliminating the soon departing Shell Turbo Chargers, 3-1, to face San Miguel in the finals series.

Taulava was once again used by Talk 'N Text, but this time the league gave the go-signal for Taulava to return and play for his mother ballclub. Asi showed rustiness during the series as the Phone Pals lost the series to San Miguel, 4-1. Willie Miller was named as the Best Player of the Conference.

2005-06 season

Talk 'N Text acquired rookies Anthony Washington and Mark Cardona from the Air21 Express for Yancy de Ocampo and Patrick Fran in separate deals.

The Phone Pals were considered as top favorites in the 2005-2006 Fiesta Conference. However, the Phone Pals lost in five grueling games to Air21 in the quarterfinals. During the series, import Damien Cantrell was replaced by former Detroit Piston and NBADarvin Ham. But Ham did not fit in Talk N Text's system and struggled. champion

After the disappointing finish in the said tournament, Joel Banal resigned as head coach and was replaced by former amateur coach Derrick Pumaren. The change made some good strides in the early stages of his second stint with Talk 'N Text. With Pumaren using the star players Asi Taulava and Jimmy Alapag, and mixing Harvey Carey and seldom-used rookie Mark Cardona, the Phone Pals went 5-4 through nine games of the Philippine Cup.

However, the Phone Pals suffered three succeeding losses, prompting team officials to land Ren-Ren Ritualo from Air21 for Leo Avenido and a future first round draft pick, and Don Allado from Alaska for Willie Miller, John Ferriols and a future first round pick on May 8. The move saw the Phone Pals as a potential title contender with the squad boasting a group of star players from their past teams along with Taulava, Alapag, Cardona and Carey. However, the trade put the Phone Pals in a deeper hole losing three more games before a win against Coca-Cola gave them a disappointing 6-10 card.

In the wildcard phase, the Phone Pals did not win a single game in the round-robin format. In their initial game, Talk 'N Text lost to Barangay Ginebra, eliminating them from quarterfinal contention before losing their final two games to Air21 and Sta. Lucia.

The Phone Pals had a shot of taking the No. 1 pick in the draft. However, they traded that rights to Air21 in a trade months ago, which dealt a big blow to the franchise. Rumors have speculated that TNT management is set to make drastic changes for the team after their disappointing season.

2006-07 season

Talk 'N Text has released Poch Juinio while the contracts of Vergel Meneses and Chris Cantonjos were not renewed, leaving the team with only 10 players. The Phone Pals participated in the 2006 NBA Summer Pro League. In the 2006 PBA Draft, the Phone Pals selected Mark Andaya in the first round, its only pick in the event.

Talk N Text managed to start off big in the 2006-07 PBA Philippine Cup, but a string of losses put them beneath the standings. But a late surge, followed by a crucial Christmas day victory over Ginebra gave the team a 10-8 record and a quarterfinals berth against Purefoods. The Phone Pals won the series 3-1 dethroning the defending Philippine Cup champions by winning the next three games by convincing margins. At the semifinals, they took crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra Kings to six games but they were eliminated by the eventual champions; they defeated Red Bull Barako in the third-place game to win the third place trophy.

On the ongoing 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference, the Phone Pals barged into the Finals after surviving a quarterfinal scare against the Air21 Express and upsetting first seed Red Bull Barako to face the Alaska Aces. The Aces drew first blood by taking game 1 but fell behind with a 1-2 series deficit after newly crowned Best Player of the Conference Mark Cardona scoring big. Newly crowned MVP candidate Willie Miller erupted for 29 points to tie the series. Cardona then had an answer when he top-scored locals on Game 5.

Cardona gave the ball away when turned over the ball in the dying seconds for the Aces to tie the series 3-all. Game 7 was a tight affair but the Aces broke through with a Miller steal off Cardona to seal Talk 'N Text's third successive Finals defeat.

The end of the Asi Taulava era

Talk N Text was a rising powerhouse team after the 2007 Fiesta Conference Finals, with a star-studded line-up bannered by Asi Taulava, Jimmy Alapag, Don Allado, Jay Washington, Harvey Carey,Renren Ritualo, Mac-Mac Cardona and Yousif Aljamal. However, former MVP Taulava's point production dipped when he opted to concentrate on the defensive end. His dismal performance in the team cost him his slot at the Phone Pals roster. On November 26, 2007 the Asi Taulava era at Talk N Text officially ended when the prized Fil-Tongan center was shipped to the Coca-Cola Tigers in exchange for Ali Peek and a 2008 first-round draft pick.

Taulava and the Tigers then had a 5-game winning streak, while the Phone Pals could only muster a three-game winning streak of their own; on the final game of the elimination round, with TNT needing to win to force a playoff for the last quarterfinal berth, Taulava and the Tigers beat the Phone Pals to deny them the playoff and instead arranged a sudden death wildcard game between the two teams. With Taulava and another ex-Phone Pal Mark Telan playing inspired basketball, the Tigers eliminated the #6 seed Phone Pals in the first wildcard round.

This led to rumors of team management firing Derrick Pumaren and his staff but after a meeting with the players, it was decided to defer the decision until after the next tournament, the 2008 PBA Fiesta Conference.[1]

However, on January 28, 2008, it was announced that former San Miguel Beermen head coach Chot Reyes would replace Pumaren as coach.


PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

  • Jerry Codiñera - played for Mobiline Phone Pals from 1996 to 2001.
  • Abet Guidaben - played for 7/Up-Pepsi squad from 1990 to 1993.
  • Vergel Meneses - "The Aerial Voyager" played for Talk N Text in the 2006 Philippine Cup.

Other notable players

  • Dennis Abbatuan
  • Peter Aguilar
  • Jonathan Aldave
  • Pongkee Alolor
  • Eric Altamirano
  • Leo Austria
  • Gido Babilonia †
  • Lowell Briones
  • Elmer Cabahug
  • Glenn Capacio
  • Jeffrey Cariaso - "The Jet"
  • Joy Carpio
  • Harmon Codiñera
  • Tim Coloso
  • Richard del Rosario
  • Jherome Ejercito
  • Tony Boy Espinosa
  • John Ferriols
  • Nino Gelig
  • Willie Generalao - "The General"
  • Jeffrey Graves
  • Nap Hatton
  • Jun Jabar
  • Romy Lopez
  • Peter Martin
  • Carlito Mejos
  • Willie Miller
  • Jose Cadel Mosqueda
  • Franz Pumaren - "The Missile"
  • Dindo Pumaren - "The Bullet"
  • Eugene Quilban
  • Badong Ramos
  • Bong Ravena
  • Ricky Relosa
  • Eric Reyes
  • Gilbert "Jun" Reyes
  • Joey Santamaria
  • Andy Seigle - 1997 PBA Rookie of the Year
  • Al Solis
  • Mark Anthony Tallo
  • Asi Taulava - 2003 PBA Most Valuable Player
  • Mark Telan
  • Alvin Teng - "Robocop"
  • Ritchie Ticzon
  • Naning Valenciano
  • Manny Victorino
  • Yoyoy Villamin -"The Bicolano Superman"
  • Larry Villanil
  • Vernie Villarias
  • Rey Yñcierto
  • Tonichi Yturri


  • Todd Bernard
  • Derick Canada
  • Damian Cantrell
  • Ronnie Coleman
  • Lanard Copeland
  • Dell Demps
  • Richie Frahm
  • Darvin Ham
  • Derrick Hamilton
  • Jeff Hodge
  • Jerald Honeycutt
  • Danny Johnson
  • Terence Leather
  • Ruben Leoncio
  • Artemus McClary
  • Perry McDonald
  • Aaron McGhee
  • Pete Mickeal
  • Silas Mills
  • Terquin Mott
  • Kenny Redfield
  • Larry Robinson
  • Jose Slaughter
  • Carlos Strong
  • James Todd "J. J." Sullinger
  • Alyun Taylor
  • Jerod Ward
  • Brandon Williams

No comments: