DID you know that Danny Seigle, one of the greatest players in San Miguel Beer history, planned to play for Mobiline when he arrived in the country in 1999?
Seigle made the revelation in a SPIN Sidelines episode on Wednesday, saying his plan was to play for Mobiline to be in the same team as his older brother Andy, who was the top pick of the Cellulars in the PBA draft two years earlier.
“At Mobiline, I was actually supposed to play with my brother,” Seigle revealed. “We kinda had it all, staying in the background.”
The US-raised Seigle said he already made up his mind about playing in the Philippines following a vacation with Andy.
After that trip, Seigle said he even tried to finish college as early as possible by taking more subjects. He graduated at Wagner after four years but not before becoming one of the most prolific scorers in the school.
“I played very well in college, eighth all-time leading scorer. I had a lot of offers overseas. But the summer before my senior year, I visited my brother Andy. So that summer, I stayed with Andy. I was around Mobiline a lot,” Seigle said.
The interest was mutual, but there was one problem. This was around 1999 when the PBA allowed teams to directly hire Fil-foreigners in an effort to bring excitement to the league following the rise of the rival the Metropolitan Basketball Association.
Mobiline was inclined to sign Asi Taulava as its direct hire before the 1999 season. So in a bid to get both, the Phone Pals management asked if Seigle could skip a year and apply for the draft in 2000.
“That year, 1999, they had a direct hire and they were choosing Asi. I found out that they wanted Asi Taulava. They basically told me, because Tommy Manotoc was handling the team, to play one year overseas and then we will get you the following year,” said Seigle.
Seigle opted to explore other options.
“I fell in love with the Philippines at that time and I want to go there straight away. Bobby Rios, my agent at that time, helped me. He talked to San Miguel and Ron Jacobs. Coach Ron got in contact with another agent, who worked me out and went to my place. Coach Paul [Howard] said, ‘I want you to listen to what I tell to coach Ron.’
“And then he spoke to coach Ron, he said, ‘Ron, give him whatever he wants.’ The rest is history,” said Seigle.
Mobiline’s loss became San Miguel’s gain as Seigle immediately made an impact in that 1999 season, winning the Rookie of the Year honors after helping the Beermen win championships in the Commissioner’s Cup and the Governors’ Cup.
Seigle also went on to win four Finals MVP - the most by any player until James Yap tied the mark in the 2014 Governors’ Cup for the Purefoods franchise.
Seigle eventually came full circle as he eventually played for the Talk ‘N Text franchise at the tailend of his career. He even won his final PBA championship as a Tropang Texter during the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup.
Although he will forever be known as a Beermen, Seigle grants he fell in love with the country because of Mobiline.
“I went to the games and I actually fell in love with the Philippines. I just felt like they had so much passion for the game and it was just a great atmosphere,” said Seigle.
Watch the full SPIN Sidelines episode: