The PBA Grand Slam Champions

Paul Lintag on Jul 07, 2017 01:11 PM
The PBA Grand Slam Champions
San Miguel is looking to win its second Grand Slam ever, a feat that's only been done by the fabled Crispa Redmanizers and the legendary Tim Cone.

After winning the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup on top of the Perpetual trophy, San Miguel's Grand Slam clock is officially on.

Sure, the last triple crown win was just three years ago when San Mig Coffee won four straight titles on its way to sweeping the 2014 season but the Beermen have some major history riding on the upcoming Governors' Cup.

Should San Miguel complete the championship trifecta, it would be the franchise's second Grand Slam in history, matching the feat of the fabled Crispa Redmanizers and the legendary head coach Tim Cone.

The 2017 Beermen are also looking to become the sixth team to ever complete the Grand Slam, read on below to find out about the first five that accomplished the rare feat.


1976 Crispa Redmanizers

It didn't take long for the PBA to witness a Grand Slam as Crispa won the triple crown during the league's second season.

With the iconic Baby Dalupan in charge, the Redmanizers swept the 1976 season, beating bitter rival Toyota in each of the three conferences.

In the All-Philippine conference, the last for the season, Crispa went down 0-2 in the Finals before sweeping the last three games to complete the Grand Slam.

It can be argued that the team featuring Atoy Co, Bogs Adornado, Abet Guidaben, Freddie Hulbalde, and Philip Cesar among other legends in that Crispa squad was the greatest Grand Slam champion ever.

The 1976 Redmanizers finished with the best winning percentage and third-most wins among all Grand Slam champions, not too shabby.


1983 Crispa Redmanizers

Featuring mostly the same core but under new management, the Redmanizers won a second Grand Slam seven years after completing the first.

Now coached by Tommy Manotoc, Crispa swept Gilbey's Gin in the Finals of the All-Filipino Conference before Billy Ray Bates led the team past Great Taste in the next two Finals.

The 1983 Open Conference was the team's 12th title overall. The Redmanizers actually won the first All-Filipino conference the following season, completing a string of four straight championships before disbanding early in 1985.


1989 San Miguel Beermen

San Miguel became the second franchise ever to sweep one full PBA season and the third team to do so behind the two legendary Crispa squads.

Transitioning from being an import, Norman Black coached the 1989 Beermen to immortality, taking care of Formula Shell with an easy 4-1 Finals win in the Open Conference before vanquishing Purefoods in six for the All-Filipino title.

With legends like Ramon Fernandez, Hector Calma, Ricardo Brown, Franz Pumaren, Ato Agustin, Samboy Lim, and Alvin Teng seeing action, San Miguel bested Robert Jaworski's Anejo Rhum in the Reinforced Conference, 4-1, to complete the Grand Slam.


1996 Alaska Milkmen

Similiar to what happened in the NBA at that time, the PBA got a first-hand demonstration on just how powerful the Triangle offense can be when done right.

With master tactician/genius Tim Cone running the show, Alaska established its dynasty in 1996, completing the league's fourth Grand Slam ever.

Having the likes of Johnny Abarrientos, Jojo Lastimosa, Jeffrey Cariaso, Poch Juinio, Bong Hawkins, Dickie Bachmann, and import Sean Chambers at his diposal, Cone led the then-Milkmen past Purefoods, Shell, and Ginebra for the triple crown.

Against Purefoods and Gineba, Alaska actually had little trouble, winning both series, 4-1. The Milkmen beat Shell in seven games.

Among all five Grand Slam teams, Alaska also has the most overall wins, winning 51 games, one more than San Miguel's 50 seven years prior.


2014 San Mig Super Coffee Mixers

At the turn of the millenium, it seemed like the Grand Slam was ancient history.

It took 18 years before the PBA witnessed another triple crown and Tim Cone was once again responsible for it.

Now handling James Yap, Marc Pingris, PJ Simon, Mark Barroca, Joe Devance and the rest of the Super Coffee Mixers, Cone guided San Mig to the toughest Grand Slam ever three years ago, conquering Rain or Shine twice and Talk 'N Text to complete the league's fifth season sweep.

What makes San Mig's Grand Slam as arguably the toughest ever is the fact that the Super Coffee Mixers had the least amount of total wins on top of having the worst winning percentage.

All Grand Slam teams won over 70 percent of their games over the course of the season. San Mig Coffee won less than 60 percent and was only 11 games above .500.

The team's highest playoff seeding was no. 4 but the Super Coffee Mixers always won when it counted the most.


Additional Grand Slam note:

All five Grand Slam teams won more than three straight championships during their respective runs. The 1976 Redmanizers actually won six straight, winning the last championship of 1975 and the first two titles of the 1977 season.

The 1983 Crispa squad won four straight, winning the first title of 1984.

San Miguel won the last title of the 1988 season before sweeping all three from 1989 while the 1996 Milkmen won the 1995 Governors' Cup first.

San Mig Coffee also won the 2013 Governors' Cup first before going on a Grand Slam campaign.



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