BARAKO Bull and Air21 are sister teams in the PBA, in the same way Talk ‘N Text and Meralco are under the MVP/PLDT group and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, San Mig Coffee and Petron Blaze are under the SMC umbrella.
But lest we be confused, Barako Bull is the former Air21 franchise that entered the league in 2002 as FedEx. For a couple of conferences it also carried the Burger King banner.
The current Air21 team is the former Shopinas.com, also owned by the Linas, which joined the PBA last season when it bought the Barako Bull/Barako Coffee/Red Bull franchise of Photokina.
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With that mind, did you know that since entering the PBA in 2002, Barako Bull has never started an all-Filipino conference with back-to-back wins?
The Energy Cola will now try to do for the first time when it takes on Petron Blaze on Wednesday in the 7:30 p.m. second game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A bonus for Barako Bull is getting a share of the lead with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the team standings.
But the odds seem to be more against the Energy Cola when one also considers the fact that they have a 14-game losing streak in the Philippine Cup against this Petron Blaze/ San Miguel Beer franchise dating back to the 2006-07 edition of the tournament.
The last time Barako Bull beat Petron Blaze was on May 24, 2006 in the 2006 Philippine Cup when Air21 whipped San Miguel Beer, 110-98, as KG Canaleta exploded for a career-high 31 points.
Canaleta is currently playing for Air21, not Barako Bull.
Still confusing? I know.
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Below are the boxscores of that last win by this Lina franchise over Petron/San Miguel. Interesting to see some familiar faces still on the current lineups of both teams: