Two teams closing the gap on Ginebra in terms of popularity, says Salud. Find out who they are
Based on studies conducted or commissioned by the PBA, Mark Caguioa and Ginebra are still the most popular team in the league, but James Yap-led Purefoods and Yeng Guiao's Rain or Shine side are not too far behind, according to commissioner Chito Salud. Jerome Ascano/ Jaime Campos

EVERYONE knows Barangay Ginebra is the most popular team in the PBA, but do you know which are the two other ballclubs with the biggest following in the professional league?

Based on studies which the pro league either commissioned or conducted, PBA commissioner Chito Salud said Ginebra remains the team with the biggest fan base, just like in the glory days of the Robert Jaworski era.

Salud, however, bared that the two teams immediately behind Ginebra - Purefoods and Rain or Shine - are not too far behind anymore and are in fact closing the gap.

“The top three teams are Ginebra, closely followed by Purefoods and Rain or Shine,” Salud said without revealing figures.

So how did Purefoods and Rain or Shine manage to close the gap? Salud was asked.

Simple. By winning.

The commissioner said the Hotshots' grand slam success as well as the franchise's return to the old Purefoods name have helped it close the gap on sister team and longtime rival Ginebra.

“Purefoods is really closing in on Ginebra in terms of fan base,” Salud said.

On the other hand, Salud said Rain or Shine is a perfect example of a team that has attracted a big following by always being in contention for championships.

The Elasto Painters are also among the most successful independent teams in the league.

“Rain or Shine is performing and if you are performing, you get fans," said the league chief. "They always go deep in the playoffs.”

While it may be sitting outside the top three, San Miguel Beer is also starting to gain ground once again in terms of popularity after reverting to its old name. Its recent resurgence may also be a reason, Salud added.

“Those are institutions in basketball,” said Salud, referring to San Miguel and Purefoods. “You can see that San Miguel is enjoying success and it's enjoying a bigger following.”

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