Grand Slam (PBA)
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The Grand Slam in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) refers to a PBA team who has won all three conferences (tournaments) in a single season. After the PBA reduced the number of conferences from three to two beginning in 2004, the term became quite obsolete to some. However, some dispute the claim that a team who could win all titles in a season can be said as a grand slam. The three-conference season format was revived in the 2010-2011 season which means a grandslam is at stake.
The 2000–2009 decade would be the first decade where there would be no grand slam winner; the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s all had at least one grand slam winner. Barangay Ginebra came the closest with two consecutive championships from 2004-2005 but was beaten by Red Bull in the wildcard phase of 2004-2005's second conference. Red Bull could've had won both conferences of the 2005-2006 season but they were beaten by Purefoods in the second conference. Since 2005, no team was able to win successive championships, although Ginebra won two more times in that span, but in the 2010 - 2011 season the 3 conference format was revived thus giving way to all teams of having a chance to win the grand slam.
Grand Slam winners
Three teams and four coaches have achieved the said feat:
|1976||Crispa Redmanizers||Baby Dalupan||Toyota||Toyota||Toyota||47-15 (.758)|
|1983||Crispa Redmanizers||Tommy Manotoc||Gilbey's||Great Taste||Great Taste||46-16 (.742)|
|1989||San Miguel Beermen||Norman Black||Shell||Purefoods||Añejo||50-21 (.704)|
|1996||Alaska Milkmen||Tim Cone||Purefoods||Shell||Ginebra||51-21 (.708)|
In addition, several others won the first two conferences but were beaten on the last tournament. They are known as "The Pretenders".
- 1975 Toyota Tamaraws (lost to Crispa in the All-Philippine Championship)
- 1977 Crispa Redmanizers (lost to Toyota in the Invitational Conference)
- 1985 Great Taste Coffee Makers (missed Finals berth in the Reinforced Conference)
- 1986 Tanduay Rhum Masters (missed Finals berth in the Open Conference)
- 1995 Sunkist Orange Juicers (missed Finals berth in the Governors Cup)
- 1998 Alaska Milkmen (missed Finals berth in the Governors Cup)
- 2004 PBA Fiesta Conference to 2004–05 Barangay Ginebra Kings (missed Finals berth in the Fiesta Conference)
- 2010-11 Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters (lost to Petron in the Governors Cup)
In other instances, a team won three or even four consecutive conferences in two different seasons. Purists say this is not a true grand slam. These teams were:
- 1976-1977 Crispa Redmanizers (includes the 1976 All-Philippine Championship which was part of the 1976 Grand Slam)
- 1984-1985 Great Taste Coffee Makers (four straight championships)
- 1995-1996 Alaska Milkmen (four straight championship '95 Governor's Cup and '96 Grand Slam)
- 1997-1998 Alaska Milkmen (three straight championships)
- 2000-2001 San Miguel Beermen (three straight championships)
Also, the 1976 and 1980 Toyota Super Corollas and the 2004-2005 Talk 'N Text Phone Pals have the unfortunate distinction of losing all of the championship series in one season. Toyota lost all three against the Crispa Redmanizers in 1976 and lost to U/Tex, guest team N. Stoodley, and Crispa in 1980. The Phone Pals were defeated by the Beermen and the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the two-conference format.
Modern-day Grand Slam
After the number of conferences was reduced from three to two that began in the 2004-2005 season, the term grand slam became obsolete to some. However, many dispute the claim that the term should stay since it is said that a team that wins all titles in a single season is a grand slam. However, ABC Sports commentator Richard del Rosario mentioned during Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals between Purefoods and Red Bull that a title win by the Bulls in the said series would give them the "modern day grand slam".
Curiously, the Barangay Ginebra Kings won the transitional 2004 Fiesta Conference, and the 2004-2005 Phlilippine Cup, the first tournament of the 2004-2005 season. On the succeeding 2005 Fiesta Conference, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Red Bull Barako. If the Kings won the 2005 Fiesta Conference, they could have been the last grand slam winners using the three-conference format (although those three conferences are in two separate - but consecutive - seasons).
The 3 conference format was revived for the 2011 season which means a chance of a grand slam is at stake.
Other usages in the Philippines
The term has also come into local usage in which a team/person wins at least three consecutive championships (see "three-peat").