The 1976 and 1983 Crispa Redmanizers, 1989 San Miguel Beer, 1996 Alaska Milk, the powerhouse and star-studded Toyota Tamaraws, They were all talk upon and remembered as the Great teams in PBA history.
But how about the 1984-1985 Great Taste Coffee, who won four championships in a row that can be considered a Grandslam.
To begin with, I was able to see just a short clip of Great Taste first championship in 1984 2nd all filipino, beating Beer Hausen, 101-94 in Game 3 for a 3-0 sweep, and a poster of that winning team which includes Bogs Adornado and Arnie Tuadles, by 1985, with the disbandment of the famed Crispa Redmanizers, the Coffeemakers became such a powerhouse squad led by Fil-Am Ricardo Brown, their franchise player, Top center Manny Victorino, another Fil-Am Willie Pearson, chairman of the boards Abe King, and among others Joey Carpio, Chito Loyzaga, and Jimmy Manansala, a perfect backcourt partner for Brown, they were a championship material, despite losing Adornado and Tuadles to other teams, their finals opponents during the 1985 Season, Magnolia and Shell are widely considered an underdog, a long shot to even pull an upset, as I tend to believe, the '89 San Miguel and '96 Alaska has face far better, competitive teams during their respective Era, Great Taste in 1985 under coach Baby Dalupan, was like a Crispa team of sorts, too good for its own.
In their failed Grand Slam bid during the 1985 Third Conference, the Great Taste Coffeemakers has also shown heart, in winning games when mattered mosts, In the Quarterfinals game vs Rival Magnolia Quench Plus of Import-Coach Norman Black, Great Taste rallied to win, 106-101 and forced a KO game, a loss would have eliminate them from the semifinals, that victory was marred by an unfortunate incident in the closing seconds involving Magnolia teammates Rudy Distrito and Joey Loyzaga. Distrito was suspended after, going into the GT-Magnolia do or die game. GT won, 99-95 and made it to the 4-team semifinals along with Manila Beer, Ginebra and Northern.
In a must-win situation on the last day of the semifinals, facing elimination anew, Great Taste once again won and eliminated crowd-favorite Ginebra, 138-130 as Ginebra's high-scoring import Michael Hackett couldnt match the intensity of the GT players that night, it took Ron Jacobs and the NCC to finally put an end to the Coffemakers winning run, a 123-107 decisive victory in the KO game for the right to faced Manila Beer in the finals. as Ricardo Brown was held to a zero output. I knew the finals protagonists, Northern and Manila Beer made life difficult for Baby Dalupan's charges during the eliminations and semifinals (NCC 5-1 over GT, Manila Beer 4-0 over GT) but a championship may have been a different story.
Lastly, unlike Tanduay '86 and Sunkist '95, Great Taste did better in the third conference, they came closiest in a bid to win five in a row (next only to Crispa's 6 straight title) not even San Miguel and Alaska can boasts of closer to winning another title after their Grandslam season.
The Great Taste coffeemakers in 1985, A Great team in the PBA worth mentioning.
First up, here are the ten best teams in PBA history, IMO:
1. 1983 Crispa Redmanizers
2. 1976 Crispa Redmanizers
3. 1978 Toyota Tamaraws
4. 1989 San Miguel Beermen
5. 1996 Alaska Milkmen
6. 1977 Crispa Redmanizers
7. 1982 Toyota Super Corollas
8. 1984 Great Taste Discoverers
9. 2004-2005 Barangay Ginebra Kings
10. 1995 Swift Mighty Meaty Hotdogs
While I don't disagree with Mon that the Great Taste team of 1985 was very formidable, I felt the 1984 team was even better. My chief and probably only argument to this point was that Great Taste had to contend with a Crispa team that remained potent in its last season in the PBA. The 1985 Great Taste had to contend with teams whose lineups had some massive changes brought about by Crispa's disbandment. We're familiar with Co and Villamin going to Manila Beer, Guidaben, Israel, Hubalde and Varela went to Tanduay, Pearson went to Great Taste and Shell, having bought the Crispa franchise, secured Cezar, Fabiosa and Cristobal. The only intact teams were Ginebra (which didn't boast much of a lineup except for Jaworski and Arnaiz), Magnolia (who was led by Norman Black) and Great Taste themselves. Hence, Great Taste had the upperhand among most of these teams for having the most talented lineup that were playing together for more than a season already by 1985. Competition-wise, their 1984 counterparts had to contend with better teams.
In 1984, they went up against Crispa, Beer Hausen (led by Fernandez and the Toyota discards), Gilbey's Gin (Jaworski, Arnaiz), Gold Eagle (Abe King, Rudy Distrito, Dante Gonzalgo, Joey Loyzaga) among others. The name Crispa alone strikes fear in the hearts of other teams, but not this franchise. They also had William Adornado with the team, who was definitely several notches better than William Pearson who joined GTC in 1985. They also had Arnie Tuadles, who in 1985, went to Ginebra, only to leave a year after to join new team Hills Bros.
I don't think any other franchise can match the two grandslam teams of Crispa - it's just a question of which Crispa team was better. Since Billy Ray Bates was the Redmanizers' import in 1983 compared to Cyrus Mann of 1976, I gave the slight nod to the later batch. The 1978 Toyota Tamaraws I felt would have been worthy of a grandslam had they not latched upon a lemon import at the start in TJ Robinson (who was later replaced by a great import named Carlos Terry), thereby relegating themselves out of the finals picture in the 1978 Open (won by U/Tex over Crispa). This same Toyota team beat the world champion Yugoslavian national team and 6th placer Canada a week prior to the World Basketball Tournament.
Great Taste was truly a franchise worthy of recognition because of its rich history. Unfortunately, because of their early debacle in the first few years of the PBA, they only became a contender in 1983 with the acquisition of Ricardo Brown as a rookie, Bogs Adornado from the disbanded U/Tex team, Baby Dalupan as consultant to assist Jimmy Mariano, former national players Manny Victorino and Joel Banal, and Jimmy Manansala from YCO/Tanduay. Unfortunately, how they started in the league was also the way they ended - as hapless cellar-dwellers. Great Taste was so bad in the pioneer years that they were allowed to be reinforced by an American import in Cisco Oliver in 1979 just to help their cause, and yet, they still failed, ending up at 3rd place, the first time they actually earned a Top 3 finish. In 1992, on their last year with the league, they also disappointed despite having a strong lineup in Allan Caidic, Zaldy Realubit, top rookie pick Vergel Meneses, Bong Hawkins, Gerry Esplana, Apet Jao and coached by Tommy Manotoc. They actually went winless in the first conference with a 0-14 card and failed to reach the semifinals in all 3 conferences before disbanding and selling their franchise to the Sta. Lucia Realtors.
What year was it that Great Taste had the Royal Brothers Philip Cezar and Abe King. I remember they also have Ricardo Brown, Atoy Co, Bernie Fabiosa, Arnie Tuadles, Joy Carpio and Allan Caidic with Baby Dalupan as Coach. And they faced in the Championship the Hills Brothers team that has the Bruise Brothers Yoyoy Villamin and Ricky Relosa. Part of that team also was Bogs Adornado, Ponky Alolor, Naning Valenciano and Dennis Abbatuan
LABAN KUNG LABAN! KAYA NATIN PILIPINAS!
Mabuhay ang TEAM PILIPINAS !!!!
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
THE DREAM LIVES ON !!!!
I agree Jay the '84 Great Taste team was a lot better, but Crispa was still the hottest team that year, the 1985 line up was the one I first followed, that team was ahead over the rest of the teams in terms of experience.While I don't disagree with Mon that the Great Taste team of 1985 was very formidable, I felt the 1984 team was even better. My chief and probably only argument to this point was that Great Taste had to contend with a Crispa team that remained potent in its last season in the PBA. The 1985 Great Taste had to contend with teams whose lineups had some massive changes brought about by Crispa's disbandment. We're familiar with Co and Villamin going to Manila Beer, Guidaben, Israel, Hubalde and Varela went to Tanduay, Pearson went to Great Taste and Shell, having bought the Crispa franchise, secured Cezar, Fabiosa and Cristobal. The only intact teams were Ginebra (which didn't boast much of a lineup except for Jaworski and Arnaiz), Magnolia (who was led by Norman Black) and Great Taste themselves. Hence, Great Taste had the upperhand among most of these teams for having the most talented lineup that were playing together for more than a season already by 1985. Competition-wise, their 1984 counterparts had to contend with better teams.
LABAN KUNG LABAN! KAYA NATIN PILIPINAS!
Mabuhay ang TEAM PILIPINAS !!!!
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
THE DREAM LIVES ON !!!!
After Toyota and Crispa folded, the next great franchise in the PBA was Great Taste. They acquired Coach Baby Dalupan from Crispa. They also got big name players from Toyota and Crispa; Abe King, Chito Loyzaga, Arnie Tuadles, Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Joy Carpio, Willie Pearson and Fritz Gaston.
They also acquired the better imports in that era; 6'5" Norman Black, 6'3" lefty Michael Holton and 6'6" left Michael Young.
Great Taste was the only PBA franchise that stood neck-to-neck with the IBA All Stars in the PBA-IBA Goodwill series. This was the goodwill series that we first saw Sean Chambers when he won the Slamdunk contest jumping around 2 feet below the FT line with 2 people on their knees as props.
FOUR-ward for the Big Red Machine
Amazing indeed.But how about the 1984-1985 Great Taste Coffee, who won four championships in a row that can be considered a Grandslam.
Was a big fan of this team.
Michael Young only joined Great Taste in 1987. He was with Manila Beer in 1986.
That team, aside from winning the All-Filipino championship, placed runner-up to Tanduay in the First Conference, What made me think of it was the coffeemakers' overall record of 14-win, 8-loss in that conference. Of those 8 losses, 7 were to Champion Tanduay, four by one-point defeat (twice in the eliminations, and Games 2 and 4 of the finals), other loss was against Ginebra in the semifinals, also by 1-point, the biggest winning margin a team had won over Great Taste was in the title-clincher where Tanduay won by 14 points in Game 5.
6 out of 8 losses by Great Taste Coffee were decided at the last 5-10 seconds, and the other two, it was only in the final period Tanduay was able to pull away, that team lived up to the pre-season hype if not for a Boston Celtic named David Thirdkill, who was too classy for Michael Young, but Young himself was hobbled by an injury during the Open Conference title-series.
Thanks for the correction, SG.
I wanted to include this same Great Taste team that was a slight reincarnation of Toyota and Crispa players, with Brown and Caidic as the exceptions in their main nucleus. They were indeed a very good team and can be debated as part of the Top 10 teams of all time.
But it's hard not to include Ginebra's accomplishment in the transition season of 2004-2005. Critics would argue that Ginebra had the best chance of replicating Alaska's most recent grandslam feat of 1996 because of their twin championships that year. They weren't exactly dominating, their Fiesta Conference didn't do well. Except that they peaked at the right moment and won the games that truly mattered.
I don't disagree with your point though. Great Taste of 1987 was definitely a team worthy of discussion. It's just hard to supplant the twin titles of Ginebra for it not to merit any consideration.
imo, in their fiesta cup stint, its less about peaking at the right time but more on finally getting the right import.
then in the all-filipino, it was a very controversial finals courtesy of taulava's issues. a game won by tnt was forfeited because of technicality. imo, bgk deserved the win but its a little tainted. that season was wonderful as it has seen the rise of helterbrand as a marquee player for the pba. but there are better teams (alaska 1998 is one).