TWENTY eight years after, the rivalry still lives on.
Former Ginebra and Purefoods stars turned back the hands of time and played in a fund-raising game Saturday night at the Guagua National College in Pampanga.
Fans got to relive one of the most intense rivalries in the PBA that began in 1988 as four-time league MVP Alvin Patrimonio suited up for the Hotdogs, while 6-foot-9 tower Marlou Aquino spearheaded the side of the Gins.
The game, held for the benefit of a young kid afflicted with a blood disorder, ended in a draw, 119-all, as Patrimonio missed a potential game-winning three-pointer coming off a timeout. There are no extra periods in exhibition games.
“It was a lot of fun playing with my hardcourt herores,” said Aries Dimaunahan, now the lead deputy coach at Blackwater, who played for Ginebra during the fund-raising match.
“Masaya especially yung mga fans nagkaroon ng time to have little chats with these legends and at the same time, have their pictures and autographs,” added the shooting guard out of University of Santo Tomas, who was part of the Ginebra team that won back-to-back PBA championships in 2004-2005.
With Aquino and Dimaunahan at Ginebra were Bal David, Vince Hizon, Noli Locsin, Bobby Jose, Benny Cheng, and JV Gayoso.
Playing with Patrimonio at Purefoods were Nelson Asaytono, Jerry Codinera, Rey Evangelista, Joey Santamaria, Rodney Santos, Sonny Cabatu, and Edward Joseph Feihl.
Incidentally, Santos, Cabatu, and Feihl also played for Ginebra at one time in their pro career.
Typical of Ginebra’s Never-Say-Die spirit, the Gins fought back from an early 10-point deficit to seize the lead at the break.
It was a see-saw battle from there before Hizon nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 119-all with less than 30 seconds left. Patrimonio then missed the game-winner at the buzzer.
The game was hosted by Batch 93 of Guagua National College.