SEVERAL PBA teams – past and present – became household names, their identities already etched in the minds not just of cage fans but also by casual observers.
Over the course of their PBA campaign, these teams, in a move mainly for marketing purposes, also made name changes and carried different brands under the same company.
There were several instances when their most recent name was not the original brand they carried, and there are also a handful of cases where their former name was more popular among fans than the current one.
Here are some of them:
Crispa was known for their two grand slams in the PBA, but the Redmanizers once carried the Walk Tall brand in 1979. The Jeansmakers achieved a runner-up finish during that year's Invitational conference carrying the brand, which was actually a line of jeans under the Crispa apparel line.
The RFM Franchise won its first two titles carrying the Swift banner but the ballclub enjoyed perhaps its best year in 1995 when the Sunkist Orange Juicers won the All-Filipino and Commissioner’s Cups, falling just short of a grand slam. The franchise also became Pop Cola and Sarsi during its long PBA history.
Great Taste won six titles during its stay in the PBA, but the tailend of the Gokongwei franchise’s stint in the league saw it change name to Presto, taking the 1990 All-Filipino crown while carrying the brand. The Tivolis were led by the likes of Allan Caidic, Abe King, Vergel Meneses, and Manny Victorino.
Alaska captured the grand slam in 1996, but in the franchise’s early years, the team carried the coffee brand Hills Bros., which placed second twice in their first season in the PBA in 1987 with Bogs Adornado leading the squad.
The TNT franchise was first known as Mobiline Cellulars when it took over the Pepsi team. The Cellulars won the 1998 Centennial Cup with import Silas Mills and Tee McClary, Glenn Capacio, and Al Solis. Mobiline became Talk ‘N Text where it won its first regular crown in the 2003 All-Filipino Cup.
ROYAL TRU-ORANGE / PETRON / MAGNOLIA
San Miguel also had its share of brand changes over the course of its stint in the PBA. At the beginning of their stint in the PBA, the Beermen were previously known as Royal Tru-Orange, capturing the 1979 Open title, before turning to San Miguel in 1980. It was briefly Gold Eagle Beer but was also called Magnolia during the 1980s, until it reverted back to San Miguel where it won a grand slam in 1989.
SMB also became known as the Magnolia Beverage Masters and Petron Blaze Boosters, winning a crown in the 2011 Governors’ Cup.
ANEJO / GORDON’S GIN / TONDENA 65 / GILBEY’S GIN
Legions of fans cheered for Barangay Ginebra even under its different names. The club was first known as Gilbey’s Gin prior to Ginebra’s first crown in 1986, then won two titles in 1988 as Anejo Rhum. The team had lean years when they were called Tondena 65 before regaining the PBA crown in 1997 when they were the Gordon’s Gin Boars.
PUREFOODS / CONEY ISLAND / B-MEG / SAN MIG COFFEE
Even though it is currently known as the Magnolia Hotshots, the franchise is still very much identified with the Purefoods brand. The team also had different brand iterations during their Purefoods days including in 1993 when, as the Coney Island Ice Cream Stars, the franchise won the 1993 All-Filipino Cup thanks to Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codinera.
The team was once known as the TJ Hotdogs, but also carried the Oodles, Corned Beef Cowboys, Carne Norte Beefies, and Chunkee Giants monikers, before changing to B-Meg Llamados in 2010.
The franchise then etched its name in the history books when, as the San Mig Coffee Mixers, they completed the grand slam in 2014 under head coach Tim Cone.
After the feat, San Mig Coffee changed to Purefoods Star Hotshots and Star Hotshots, until they were renamed again to their current brand in 2017.
Any more lesser-known PBA brands you know? List it down in the comments section below
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