Heart Of A Champion
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Land of 3 NBA titles
Re: Philippine Basketball Association Thread
The entire buzz around the NBA Playoffs is taking out the interest in the PBA. So what better way to stir reaction than to cash in with the PBA’s resident crowd pleasers!
(Surely this should land me some kind of fanbase too, hehe
Since 1979, the Baranggay Ginebra Kings is undoubtedly the premiere crowd drawer of the league. Superstars like Allan Caidic, Paul Alvarez, Johnny Abarrientos, and Freddie Hubalde suited for the squad at one point of their careers. Powerhouse Benjie Paras tried desperately to opt out of his Shell contract when the Gins called for his services. For budding superstars, if you want to become a great star and have a huge fan following, then Ginebra is your best option.
Gilbey’s Gin started in the PBA with Willie Tanduyan and Willie Generalao leading the charge. Then the team’s fate dramatically changed. As the Toyota franchise disbanded in 1984, most of its players were “sold” to the Beerhausen franchise. Ramon Fernandez was one of the players included in the transfer. However, Robert Jaworski resisted and stated that they were not for sale and they were not “pieces of meat”. This also further exposed the rift involving Jawo and The Franchise. When Ginebra came to the picture, “Jawo”, Arnie Tuadles, and Francis Arnaiz joined the Kings. They also brought the then-Toyota fans to the once talent-plagued squad to further strengthen this budding basketball institution.
Ginebra produced, developed, and created a slew of stars that the fans cheered throughout their Ginebra tenure. Here are the players that best described the celebrated franchise.
Before the list we should mention that Rudy Hatfield, Ronald Tubid, Rafi Reavis, and Billy Mamaril are not included for the reasons that they have yet to have a complete season with the Kings. Special mention from this list were the other players in the 80’s like Cayetano Salazar, Ed Ducut, and Mukesh Advani, 90’s players like Elmer Lago, Mike Orquillas, Macky de Joya, and Dodot Jaworski, and other players like Joey Marquez, Dennis Roldan, Terry Saldana, Willie Generalao, Pongkie Alolor, Bennett Palad, and Ronald Magtulis.
MY TOP 30 (Criteria: Popularity, Stats, and Tenure as a GIN)
30) Wilmer Ong – Long before Junthy Valenzuela, Ong was the most recognized hitman during the 90’s. Whenever Jawo wants a person taken out, Ong will viciously bump and ravage his opponent until he gets pissed with Ong and challenges him to a brawl. He had a long tenure as a King.
29) Benny Cheng – The former NCAA MVP found his way to the Gins via trade for Manny Victorino. He was the team’s starting forward, providing the hustle and the scrappy plays.
28) Sunday Salvacion – Another former NCAA MVP, Sweet Glorious Sunday transformed from a collegiate offensive powerhouse to a multi-dimensioned player. His clutch triple bombs have been one of his strong suits.
27) Willie Tanduyan – Little is known about this player but the former Crispa stalwart was one of Gilbey’s Gin’s first superstars. He was one of the franchise’s pioneers when it debuted in 1979.
26) Rodney Santos – Another former NCAA MVP, the Slasher found himself as a Gin when he was traded alongside Andy Seigle for Jun Limpot. He quickly became part of Kings’ insanely quick backcourt rotation.
25) Manny Victorino – One of the finest centers of the PBA during the 80’s, Victorino was taken from Pepsi in exchange for draft pick Victor Pablo. He played in the team during their championship-less years.
24) Sonny Cabatu – This was his first and only stint as a top guy. Despite playing for a team that desperately needed wins, he was their main man in the paint. He had a double-digit points average while playing as a Gin.
23) Vergel Meneses – This 1-time MVP was so sought after by the Gins that they had to give up popular Gin King Noli Locsin. But when a rookie named Mark Caguioa started his climb to the top, disemboweling his minutes… especially during fourth quarters, he headed to FedEx afterwards. .
22) Rey Cuenco – The former first pick overall in the 1986 Draft found was sent to Ginebra by Shell for Romy dela Rosa. He was an exciting scorer but injury-plagued throughout his career. He was best remembered as the person who ignited the Ginebra walkout (called Anejo then, they protested a foul against Cuenco which led to the stiff 550,000 fine they got from their actions).
21) Joey Loyzaga –He was efficient as a shooter but this wide-bodied talent was also an able defender. He was also part of the Ginebra Bad Boys that shackled every offensive threat that barges in their way. He was also known as a former beau of screen goddess Gretchen Barretto.
20) Dondon Ampalayo – Called the Magic Man, the former Rookie of the Year could play inside and outside. However, his Ginebra stint was short-lived as the management feared of his effectiveness being injury prone and all. He was sent to Alaska in a forgettable trade, with the Kings getting ‘suppossedly” good Stevenson Solomon.
19) Leo Isaac – If Jawo was Magic Johnson then Isaac was their version of Byron Scott. At that time he was big for his position that on a regular basis, he creates mismatches. He was not much of a speedster but he does what it takes to claim wins. He was part of their championship in ’86.
18) Philip Cezar – The Scholar played his final years as a pro with the Gins. The Tapal King was still controlling the boards like a youngster though. Aligning himself with the Big J was a tough act – since they’ve possibly swung their fists at each other during the Crispa-Toyota Era. However, this unlikely bond prospered after his playing career as he became Big J’s chief assistant during their 1997 title run.
17) Mama Mamaril – Current King Billy should learn a thing or two from his father. Despite his reed-thin frame combining with his 6’6 body, “Mama” was fearless. His unwavering defense, whether against locals or imports, proved vital for his lengthy stay in the majors. He also never backed down from a fight. He finished his career alongside Isaac, with their former rival, Shell.