GRAND SLAMMED! The teams that missed out on a PBA triple crown
Paul Lintag on Sep 28, 2017 07:57 PM
June Mar Fajardo's San Miguel Beermen joins the list of teams that missed out on a PBA Grand Slam.
Winning a Grand Slam will give you PBA immortality. It's just that simple.
However, missing out on a PBA Grand Slam after coming oh so close means that you'll probably be forgotten and buried in the annals of history, remembered only when articles like this one are published and made available for everyone to read.
These teams are still probably trying to move on from the Grand Slam that got away.
1975 Toyota Tamaraws
The PBA almost saw a Grand Slam during its very first season.
As the league opened shop in 1975, Toyota immediately ran off with the first two championships, setting up a historic first season.
However, the Tamaraws lost to rival Crispa in the All-Philippine Conference, 2-3, denying them of a shot at ultimate glory.
Speaking of Crispa...
1977 Crispa Redmanizers
Let's just get this out of the way, Crispa was basically the Boston Celtics of the PBA.
Fresh from winning their first-ever Grand Slam in 1976, also the first in PBA history, the Redmanizers almost made it a golden double the following season.
As part of its six-championship tear, Crispa won the first two titles of the 1977 season only the fall short in the Invitational Conference, finishing in third place. All is good though as the Redmanizers won a second Grand Slam in 1983.
1985 Great Taste Coffee Makers/1986 Tanduay Rhum Makers
Both Great Taste and Tanduay made legitimate runs for the Grand Slam in back-to-back seasons, winning the first two championships before missing the Finals of the third conference.
In this case, the Coffee Makers made the most compelling case for the Grand Slam as the team actually won fourth straight titles, winning the last two championships of the 1984 season on top of the first two trophies at stake in 1985.
Unfortunately, the Grand Slam comes in a specific set and Great Taste missed it. Twice.
1995 Sunkist Orange Juicers
Led by MVP Vergel Meneses and Most Improved Player Bonel Balingit, the 1995 Sunkist Orange Juicers beat Alaska twice in the All-Filipino Cup and Commissiner's Cup.
However, the team missed out on the Finals of the third conference and Alaska ended up capturing the Governors' Cup, the start of four straight titles that culminated with a Grand Slam win the following season for the Milkmen.
1998 Alaska Milkmen
After winning a Grand Slam in 1996, Alaska was ready to go at it again two years later in 1998.
Tim Cone's squad survived San Miguel Beer in both the All-Filipio Conference and the Commissioner's Cup but the Milkmen would fail to advance in the Finals of the Governors' Cup, finishing last in an eight-team field.
2011 Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters
Behind Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro, the Chot Reyes-coached Tropang Texters were running amok in the league six years ago.
Talk 'N Text vanquished both San Miguel and Ginebra in the Philippine Cup and Commissioner's Cup respectively, setting up the team's Grand Slam chase.
However, the Tropang Texters lost the Governors' Cup to the Beermen, then re-branded as the Petron Blaze Boosters, 3-4.
What's worse is the fact that Talk 'N Text practically handpicked Petron as its Finals opponent as an unusual semifinals format afforded the team of such option.
Playing a non-bearing game, Talk 'N Text dropped its semifinal matchup to Petron, allowing the Blaze Boosters to advansame carry-over record as Alaska and Brgy. Ginebra.
2017 San Miguel Beermen
Unstoppable all season long, many felt that the Grand Slam was for San Miguel to lose in 2017.
Well, the Beermen lost it, ending the season with a disappointing quarterfinals loss to Ginebra in the Governors' Cup.
If San Miguel managed to complete the triple crown, the they would have joined Crispa as one of only two PBA franchises to have multipile Grand Slam wins.
Also, the Beermen won the Perpetual trophy earlier in the season. If they finished the season with a Grand Slam, their case as the greatest team ever almost makes too much sense.
But San Miguel lost so that case in not going to filed. On to the next one.
Additional failed Grand Slam note:
The PBA switched to a two-conference format from the 2004-2005 season to 2009-2010. No team swept both conferences and Red Bull was the only team to come close, winning the 2005-2006 Fiesta Conference over Purefoods before losing to the Chunkee Giants in the rematch during the Philippine Cup.
*This post has been updated and was originally published last July 7, 2017
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