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San Miguel returns to PBA

The only remaining pioneer team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is set to make a comeback to the professional league, in a bid to extend its championship tradition.

In time for the 25th anniversary of the San Miguel Beermen’s legendary grand slam feat in 1989, the Petron Blaze Boosters will revert to the team’s old monicker starting this second conference, the 2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president Ramon S. Ang said the time is ripe to bring the company’s core brand back to the PBA.

“San Miguel Beer is synonymous to brewing excellence. We built our success as a conglomerate on San Miguel’s name. We are happy to announce its return to the PBA and we look forward to its future success,” Ang says.

Overall, the San Miguel franchise has won 19 championships to date, including the historic 1989 grand slam victory.

“On the 25th anniversary of that historic feat, we will gun for more championships with a new generation of talented and hardworking players and coaching staff,” Ang says. “As in the past, our aim is to stay true to the San Miguel brand of excellence and to play hard and well above our fans’ expectations.”

The team will be led by 2013 Most Valuable Player Arwind Santos, center June Mar Fajardo and premier pointguard Alex Cabagnot.

The Beermen also include Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, Chris Ross, Doug Kramer, Chico Lanete, Yousef Taha, Ronald Tubid, Joseph Marata, Jojo Duncil, Paolo Hubalde and Jason Deutchman.

In 1989, San Miguel Beer swept all three conferences to nail the third of only four PBA grand slams. The others were accomplished by Crispa (1976 and 1983) and Alaska Milk (1996).

That team was made up of now-Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Ato Agustin, Alfie Almario, Ricardo Brown, Hector Calma, Ricky Cui, Yves Dignadice, Ramon Fernandez, Jeffrey Graves, Bobby Jose, Samboy Lim, Franz Pumaren, Alvin Teng, Tonichi Yturri, Michael Phelps, Keith Smart and Ennis Whatley.

San Miguel Beer, pertaining to San Miguel Pale Pilsen, is the flagship brand of San Miguel Brewery, Inc.

The company also brews Red Horse Extra Strong Beer, San Mig Light, San Mig Zero, San Miguel Super Dry, Cerveza Negra, San Miguel Premium All-Malt Beer, San Mig Strong Ice, Gold Eagle, San Mig Apple Flavored Beer and San Mig Lemon Flavored Beer.