THE only remaining pioneer team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is set to switch back to its old name in a bid to extend it championship tradition.
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president Ramon S. Ang on Monday said Petron, one of three PBA teams under the company's umbrella, will be reverting to its old name San Miguel Beer beginning in the Commissioner's Cup.
Ang said the time is ripe to bring the company’s core brand back to the PBA, the switch, fittingly enough, coming on the 25th anniversary of the San Miguel Beermen’s grand slam feat in 1989.
“San Miguel Beer is synonymous to brewing excellence. We built our success as a conglomerate on San Miguel’s name. We are happy to announce its return to the PBA and we look forward to its future success,” said Ang.
Overall, the San Miguel franchise has won 19 championships to date, including the historic 1989 grand slam victory under coach Norman Black - the third of only four season title sweep in league history aside from Crispa's (1976 and 1983) and Alaska's (1996).
“On the 25th anniversary of that historic feat, we will gun for more championships with a new generation of talented and hardworking players and coaching staff,” said Ang. “As in the past, our aim is to stay true to the San Miguel brand of excellence and to play hard and well above our fans’ expectations.”
The team will be led by 2013 MVP Arwind Santos, center June Mar Fajardo and premier point guard Alex Cabagnot and also includes Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, Chris Ross, Doug Kramer, Chico Lanete, Yousef Taha, Ronald Tubid, Joseph Marata, Jojo Duncil, Paolo Hubalde and Jason Deutchman.
In 1989, San Miguel Beer swept all three conferences behind a team made up of now-Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Ato Agustin, Alfie Almario, Ricardo Brown, Hector Calma, Ricky Cui, Yves Dignadice, Ramon Fernandez, Jeffrey Graves, Bobby Jose, Samboy Lim, Franz Pumaren, Alvin Teng, Tonichi Yturri, Michael Phelps, Keith Smart and Ennis Whatley.