THE Christmas season is a festive time for everyone, but, it became a bit more special for teams and athletes which won coveted championships during the holidays.
Here are some of them:
The 1996 grand slam of the Milkmen was completed a week before Christmas Eve when they beat Ginebra, 91-83, in Game Five of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Cuneta Astrodome. Jojo Lastimosa and import Sean Chambers proved to be the difference as the Milkmen made history as only the third team in PBA history to complete the league treble.
On December 20, 1990, the Hotdogs won their first title in the 1990 PBA Third Conference by beating Alaska, 99-98, in Game Five, in the process completing a historic comeback from a 0-2 deficit under the great Baby Dalupan. Daren Queenan had 40 points, while Al Solis drilled a big triple to put Purefoods ahead, 99-95 as Purefoods dealt Tim Cone a stinging loss in his first appearance in the finals.
On December 22, 1993, Kenneth Duremdes led the Burger Machine Chicken Burgers to a thrilling victory in Game Five of the PBL Fidel V. Ramos Cup with a 64-62 win over Instafood. Duremdes had 14 points and was supported by Jun Marzan and Ronnie Cahanding, who each had 12 markers to seal the win for the Chicken Burgers, who previously lost the Maharlika Cup to Nikon. Dennis Espino had 19 points, while Lou Regidor chipped in 15 in a losing effort for Instafood.
The 2007 PBL V-Go Extreme Energy Drink Cup went down to its final game two days before the turn of the year, and it turned out to be the classic. In the end, it was Harbour Centre who was left to lift the trophy after beating Hapee, 94-88, in an overtime thriller. The Batang Pier, led by players such as TY Tang, Sol Mercado, and Jerwin Gaco, won in grand fashion, coming back from a 19-point third-quarter deficit to beat a Gabe Norwood-led Complete Protectors in a game held at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The PBA has held a lot of Christmas Day games in the past few years but nothing was more special than the one in 2002 when the Tigers captured the PBA All-Filipino crown in Game Four in the first championship game that was won on Christmas Day at the Araneta Coliseum. Led by Finals MVP Rudy Hatfield, the Tigers romped to a 78-63 win over Alaska to claim their first-ever crown.