The Return of San Miguel Beermen (PBA 2014)
I was around 11 years old when I got indulged in the world of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). It was the time when Asi Taulava was still producing monster stats a la Shaquille O’neal, Mark Caguioa was still a freshman playing for Brgy. Ginebra Kings and Sta. Lucia Realtors still had their Twin Towers consisting of Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino. The time when Alvin Patrimonio, Nelson Asaytono, and Johnny Abbarientos were still active. And of course, that was the time when my favorite PBA team of all time was still in its glorious days – the San Miguel Beermen.
Who can forget the team coached by Jong Uichico with a formidable starting five composed of Olsen “Rara” Racela at point guard, Dondon “Cebuano Hotshot” Hontiveros at shooting guard, Danny “Dynamite” Siegle as small forward, Danny “Demolition Man” Ildefonso as power forward, and Dorian “Junkyad Dawg” Pena at center. Ah, those were the days when I can’t afford to miss a Beermen's game. I grew up watching them and I was deeply saddened when this starting five were disbanded and their team name were changed thereafter. From San Miguel Beermen, it became Magnolia, then Petron Blaze Boosters. With the departure of the respected and feared Beermen, the accolade and reputation of being the winningest team in the PBA with a total of 19 championships have slowly vanished. Most teams aren’t afraid of them anymore.
Here’s a video of San Miguel Beermen Highlights for my fellow SMB fanatics.
Good news folks! The San Miguel Beermen are finally making its return to the PBA. They will be back in the PBA at the Commissioner’s Cup as the league’s oldest franchise and San Miguel Corporation’s flagship team with their old brand and team name once more. The announcement was made by San Miguel Corporation President Ramon Ang, which was very timely because this year will be the anniversary of the team’s Grand Slam Championship that happened in 1989.
“San Miguel Beer is synonymous to brewing excellence. We built our success as a conglomerate on San Miguel’s name. We are happy to announce its return to the PBA and we look forward to its future success,” said Ang in a statement.
“On the 25th anniversary of that historic feat, we will gun for more championships with a new generation of talented and hardworking players and coaching staff,” Ang added.
“As in the past, our aim is to stay true to the San Miguel brand of excellence and to play hard and well above our fans’ expectations.”
These words that Mr. Ang said were music to my ears since I really love to see my favorite team once again and see them climb back to the throne that they once owned. I just find it pretty sad that Racela has retired and Pena, Hontiveros, Ildefonso, and Siegle are playing for other PBA teams now.