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SMC Group sweeps 43rd PBA Season


PhilBoxing.com


If that is not a dynasty, PBA fan Juan dela Cruz wouldn?t know what is.

The year 2018 saw all three SanMiguel Corp.-owned franchises ? San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok ? swept all the championships in the country?s and Asia?s first pro-league had offered in its 43rd season.

The Beermen ruled the prestigious Philippine Cup four straight times proving they are, indeed, the best team with an all-Filipino lineup in the last decade.

The Gin Kings got the Beermen?s signal and followed their sister team?s feat by winning the Commissioner?s Cup. And, not to be outdone, the Hotshots made sure no one from the opposition squeak past the SMC group?s grip of power by ending the season with the Governors? Cup safely tucked under their sleeves.

This is the only third time in the last 30 years that all three SMC teams marched triumphantly to the podium, after the Beermen themselves, in 1988, started the company?s campaign by taking the Open Conference and the Reinfored Conference plums one after another.

The Beerrmen then towed Anejo Rhum, called at that time, which was only a year playing under the SMC banner to the title, too, of the All-Filipino Cup.

In the 2014 and 2015 Season, it was the Gin Kings? turn to lead a three-SMC group championship run sweeping the Fiesta Conference and the Philippine Cup gonfalons before yielding the Third Conference diadem to, who else, but the Beermen.

Actually, to show the company?s basketball mastery over the rest of the field, eight of the play-for-play?s nine conference contested from season 2015, were won by the SMC Group with the Beermen dominating the Philippine Cup all the way from that year to this year.

Six, too, of the last seven tournaments from 2010 to 2017 were also dominated by the Ramon S. Ang franchises highlighted by the 2014 Grandslam of then SanMig Coffee.

Add the seven title victories by the RSA Group out of nine finals appearances from 1999 to 2005, proved without an iota of doubt that the Beermen, the Gin Kings and the Hotshots, are, indeed, the force to reckon with in any professional team sports played in this country.

Incidentally, this recent basketball power-play being displayed by the SMC-owned squads started when Alfrancis Chua, a pony-tailed former basketball player and coach, joined the group In 2012, first as coach, team manager and governor, representing Ginebra to the PBA board and now the whole company?s sports director.

Chualay, as Chua is fondly called by friends, came at a time when SMC sports department was embroiled with controversies. But in no time he was able to solve the problems by bringing the right mix of coaches and players that made the squad the most dominant team in the past three seasons.

A year after joining the SMC Group, SanMig Coffee (Purefoods) won its first Grandslam in the process gifting coach Tim Cone his second sweep of the season. In 2014, the Beeermen cruised to their first of what is now four consecutive All Filipino plums.

?I think the secret to success the past three seasons can be attributed to Boss Alfrancis. He knows what he?s doing because he?s been a coach, so he knows if the coaches are performing to the task," Gee Abanilla, assistant manager of the Beermen, told media men.

?He was also a former player, so he knows the body language of the players. But more importantly, he was able to build a strong rapport among the players and the coaches,? Abanilla added.

Of the three teams, Star has improved by leaps and bounds and Rene Pardo, the long-time Purefoods team executive, gave Chua the credit for his contributions to the Hotshots? title conquest of the 2018 Governors? Cup that served as icing on the cake in SMC teams? sweep of the 43rd Season.

The father of four boys ? Marc Francis, Kyle Francis, Nathan Francis and Cody Francis ? with wife Joselyn humbly attributed all did to the three SMC teams simply to ?luck.?

?Suwerte lang,? he told this writer. Alam mo, kapag all-out ang suporta sa yo ng management. Lalapit talaga sa yo lahat ng suwerte.

"San Miguel Corporation, especially si boss RSA, hindi lang nakatutok sa negosyo, sa sports man. Hands-on lagi yan si boss sa lahat ng bagay,? he asserted. ?Alam niya lahat ng nangyayari.?

?This success doesn?t end here in the PBA 43rd season. Marami pang susunod pati sa iba pang sports,? Chualay assured Kukilala natin si Boss, hindi titigil yan.?


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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