MORE than any other team, Talk `N Text has come the closest to permanently taking home the 'Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy.'
And so other than history, the coveted award will also be at stake when the Tropang Texters gun for a third straight All-Filipino championship against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals that begin on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 24-karat gold-plated trophy that stands 3.3 feet tall and designed by renowned Filipino artist Ramon Orlina was the idea of former commissioner Noli Eala, who had it done in 2006 to be permanently awarded to the team that wins the All-Filipino championship three years in a row.
Originally termed as a `Perpetual Trophy,’ it was later renamed as the 'Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy' in honor of the late PBA commissioner who was the longest-serving chieftain of Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league (1993-2002).
Until a three-peat champion permanently gets hold of it, the trophy is awarded to and left in the care of the Philippine Cup champion, which keeps it for a year before it is replaced with a smaller replica when a new title holder emerges the next season.
So far, Talk `N Text has kept the trophy at the Smart Tower in Makati City and hopes to have it permanently placed there as the Tropang Texters look forward to becoming the first team to win the All-Filipino three straight years since the great Crispa Redmanizers did it in 1979, 1980, 1983, and 1984.
There was no All-Filipino in 1981 and 1982.
“It’s exciting to see a team come close to winning it,” said Eala in a brief talk with Spin.ph about one of the legacies he left behind the league. “It definitely gives (the Finals) an added spice, since for so long, no team has come close to achieving it.”
As per description by Google, the frame of the trophy, in the shape of a basketball ring, is composed of eight panels with four designs, reflecting at opposite sides. The design consists of a basketball player dribbling, shooting or dunking the ball.
The ring supports an orb, which reflects the groove lines of a basketball. A gold-plated sphere is placed at the center to illuminate the optical illusion of a basketball together with the orb.
As per Eala’s recollection, the trophy cost half a million pesos when the league commissioned Orlina to design it seven years ago.
“But it may be worth a lot more today,” said the former commissioner.
PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial agreed.
“It may be worth a million already by this time,” he said.