Grand Slam (PBA)

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For other uses, see Grand Slam (disambiguation).

The Grand Slam in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) refers to a PBA team that has won all three conferences (tournaments) in a single season. As of 2014, this achievement was made five times since the league's inception in 1975, by four teams and four coaches.[1]

In the decades of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, at least one team swept the championships in a season. The 2000–2009 decade had no Grand Slam winner due to the adjustments in the league calendar in 2004, in which the start of the season was moved from January to October and the number of conferences per season was reduced from three to two. The three-conference season format was reinstated in the 2010–11 season.[1]

Grand Slam winners[edit]

Season Team Coach Defeated finalists Season
First Second Third
1976 Crispa Redmanizers Baby Dalupan Toyota Toyota Toyota 47-15 (.758) [2]
1983 Crispa Redmanizers Tommy Manotoc Gilbey's Great Taste Great Taste 46-16 (.742) [3]
1989 San Miguel Beermen Norman Black Shell Purefoods Añejo 50-21 (.704) [4]
1996 Alaska Milkmen Tim Cone Purefoods Shell Ginebra 51-21 (.708) [5]
2013–14 San Mig Super Coffee Mixers Tim Cone Rain or Shine Talk 'N Text Rain or Shine 41-30 (.577) [6]

1976 Crispa Redmanizers[edit]

Further information: 1976 Crispa Redmanizers season

In the second season of the league, the Crispa Redmanizers became the first team to win all of the conference championships in a season, they have won the All-Philippine Championship, the third conference of the 1975 season, before they began their quest for the Grand Slam. The Redmanizers were able to win all of the 1976 season conferences: the All-Filipino (reclassified as the First Conference), the Open (reclassified as the Second Conference), and the All-Philippine Championship, with an overall season record of 47-15 win-loss card. Incidentally, all of their championships were won against the Toyota Comets, who are their rivals since their days in MICAA. The team was composed of future Hall of Famers Bogs Adornado, Atoy Co, Abet Guidaben, and Philip Cezar, and was coached by Baby Dalupan.[7]

1983 Crispa Redmanizers[edit]

Further information: 1983 Crispa Redmanizers season

The Redmanizers achieved the rare feat again in the 1983 season, the team was still composed of the core players of the 1976 Grand Slam team but were now coached by former U/Tex Wranglers tactician Tommy Manotoc. Crispa began the season with a record-setting 12-game winning streak in the All-Filipino Conference, only losing their first game to Toyota in the start of the elimination round. They finished the elimination round with a 7–1 record, then went on to sweep all of their playoff games, including their best-of-five series against Gilbey's Gin Tonics. The winning streak extended to the next conference, the Reinforced Filipino Conference, as Crispa won their first nine assignments in the elimination round, ending their streak with 21 wins.[8] Also this conference, they hired former Portland Trail Blazer Billy Ray Bates as their import. They have won the conference championship against former Redmanizer Bogs Adornado and the Great Taste Coffee Makers, three games to two.

In the final conference of the season, the Open Conference, the Redmanizers once again hired Bates as their import. They were able to book a seat to the finals and a rematch against Great Taste. Again, the Redmanizers defeated the Coffee Makers in their best-of-five finals series.[9]

Bates won Best Import of the Conference awards for both the Reinforced Filipino and Open Conferences, while Abet Guidaben won the Most Valuable Player award at the end of the season.[7]

1989 San Miguel Beermen[edit]

Further information: 1989 San Miguel Beermen season

The Beermen won the 1988 PBA Reinforced Conference championship before the start of their Grand Slam journey. The San Miguel team was made up of the core of the Northern Consolidated Cement team, which also represented the Philippines in international tournaments. The NCC team also captured the 1985 PBA Reinforced Conference championship as a guest team. The former players from the NCC team were Hector Calma, Yves Dignadice, Samboy Lim, and Elmer Reyes. The team was coached by two-time best import awardee Norman Black.[10] They have also acquired former Purefoods Hotdogs center and playing coach Ramon Fernandez by sending Abet Guidaben to the Hotdogs in a controversial trade.[11]

San Miguel won the first conference championship of the season, the Open Conference, with the help of import Michael Phelps, against the Bobby Parks lead Formula Shell Zoom Masters. The Beermen struggled in the elimination round of the All-Filipino Conference but was able to went on to the finals where they met the Purefoods Hotdogs and won their championship series in six games. In the final conference of the season, the Reinforced Conference, the Beermen struggled yet again in the elimination round and was able to win most of their games in the semifinal round and was able to advance to the finals against sister team Añejo Rum 65ers. They have won their best-of-seven series against the 65ers in five games.[7]

1996 Alaska Milkmen[edit]

Further information: 1996 Alaska Milkmen season

Like the 1976 Crispa Redmanizers and the 1989 San Miguel Beermen Grand Slam teams, the Milkmen were able to win the championship of the third conference of the 1995 season, the Governors' Cup. The team is built up by Johnny Abarrientos, Jojo Lastimosa, and the previous year's rookie of the year Jeffrey Cariaso, and was coached by Tim Cone, who was the first to implement the Triangle Offense system in the PBA.[12]

In the first conference of the 1996 season, the All-Filipino Cup, the Milkmen faced off against the Purefoods TJ Hotdogs in the best-of-seven finals. In Game 5 of the championship series, after forcing the game into overtime, Purefoods was able to hold a one point against Alaska, 92-91, with 10.3 seconds remaining. In the next play, Alaska was inbounding from their baseline behind the basket. Jeffrey Cariaso was able to catch the ball in an alley-oop attempt but was fouled in the process by Bong Ravena while attempting to block the shot with 0.6 seconds left. Cariaso sank both of his free throws and was able to give Alaska the lead, 93-92. With no timeouts left, the TJ Hotdogs threw a desperation attempt from the opposite side of their basket and missed, giving the Milkmen the All-Filipino championship.[13]

In the second conference, the Commissioner's Cup, the Milkmen, hired Derrick Hamilton as their import for the tournament. However, after the league found out his marijuana abuse issues, the Milkmen hired their resident import Sean Chambers to fill the void left by Hamilton. The Milkmen went up against the Formula Shell Zoom Masters in the finals and were able to win the championship in seven games. In the third and final conference of the season, the Governors' Cup, the Milkmen faced the Ginebra San Miguel team. They won their series against the Gin Kings in five games.[7]

Johnny Abarrientos also won the MVP award at the end of the season.[14]

2013–14 San Mig Super Coffee Mixers[edit]

Former Alaska coach Tim Cone took over the coaching duties of the team in 2011, when the team was still known as the B-Meg Llamados.[15] The team's core consisted of two-time league MVP James Yap, Marc Pingris, and PJ Simon.[16]

In the first conference of the 2013–14 season, the Philippine Cup, the Coffee Mixers struggled in the first games of the tournament and ended up at fifth place at the end of the elimination round, they faced arch rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the semifinals and won their series in seven games. Then they went on to beat the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the finals and won the championship, four games to two.[17]

In the Commissioner's Cup, they hired James Mays as their reinforcement for the tournament. Still struggling in the eliminations, the Coffee Mixers finished in sixth place with a 4–5 record. The team was pitted with the defending champions Alaska in a best-of-three quarterfinal series.[18][19] Alaska won the first game, 86-77, and were on verge of eliminating the Coffee Mixers.[20] The Mixers managed to win the next two games to advance to the semifinal round[21] against Air21 Express, an unexpected semifinalist after they had eliminated the second-seeded San Miguel Beermen, who had a twice-to-beat advantage.[22] Led by 41-year old Asi Taulava, they won the first game against the Mixers, 103-100.[23] The Coffee Mixers went on to win the next two games to grab the series lead and was one win away from clinching a finals berth. However, the Express went on a three-point shooting spree in Game 4, and forced a rubber match.[24] Game 5 was eventually won by the Mixers, 99-83.[25] In the finals, they faced the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters, which had a 13-0 record before the start of their championship series.[26] The Coffee Mixers won their first game, giving the Tropang Texters their first loss of the tournament.[27] Talk 'N Text eventually won Game 2 of the finals but the Coffee Mixers won the next two games, and their third consecutive championship.[28]

In the Governors' Cup, they hired their resident import Marqus Blakely as their reinforcement for the tournament. The team finished the elimination round with a 5–4 record and tied with Alaska, San Miguel, Barangay Ginebra, and Air21 in third place. Due to the quotient system imposed for tiebreakers this conference, the Coffee Mixers ended up in fourth place, having the second-best quotient among the five teams.[29] The team then defeated fifth-seeded San Miguel Beermen in the quarterfinals in one game (SMC had a twice-to-beat advantage), 97-90.[30] The Coffee Mixers advanced to the semifinal round and were matched up against their Commissioner's Cup finals opponent, the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. The Coffee Mixers were able to win the first two games of their best-of-five series, giving them an edge to close out the series and sweep out Talk 'N Text. However, the Tropang Texters were able to win games 3 and 4, forcing a deciding Game 5. The rubber match was very close and no team led their opponent for more than six points in the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, the free-throw shooting woes and missed attempts in the painted area of Talk 'N Text became costly as the Coffee Mixers were able to break away with the lead and the win to clinch the first finals berth.[31] In the finals, they faced their Philippine Cup opponents, Rain or Shine. They eventually won the series and the Grand Slam after five games.[32]

Failed Grand Slam bids[edit]

Several other teams won the first two conferences but were defeated in the last tournament:

Consecutive champions[edit]

In other instances, a team won three or even four consecutive conferences in two different seasons. These teams were:

  • 1976-1977 Crispa Redmanizers (six straight championships: 1975 All-Philippine Championship, 1976 Grand Slam, 1977 All-Filipino Conference and 1977 Open Conference)[35]
  • 1983-1984 Crispa Redmanizers (four straight championships: 1983 Grand Slam, 1984 First All-Filipino Conference)[35]
  • 1984-1985 Great Taste Coffee Makers (four straight championships: 1984 Second All-Filipino Conference, 1984 Invitational Championship, 1985 Open Conference, 1985 All-Filipino Conference)[35]
  • 1995-1996 Alaska Milkmen (four straight championship: 1995 Governors' Cup and 1996 Grand Slam)[35]
  • 1997-1998 Alaska Milkmen (three straight championships: 1997 Governors' Cup, 1998 All-Filipino Cup and 1998 PBA Commissioner's Cup)[35]
  • 2000-2001 San Miguel Beermen (three straight championships: 2000 Commissioner's Cup, 2000 Governors' Cup, 2001 All-Filipino Cup)[35]
  • 2013-2014 San Mig Super Coffee Mixers (four straight championships: 2013 Governors' Cup, 2013–14 Grand Slam)[35]

Grand Slam during the two-conference era[edit]

From the 2004–05 season to 2009–10 season, the league adopted a two-conference format: an All-Filipino tournament named the PBA Philippine Cup, and an import-laced tournament named the PBA Fiesta Conference. A Grand Slam could be attained during this period by winning both the All-Filipino and import-laden conference titles, instead of the usual three titles. No team in the PBA has attained this version of the Grand Slam.[40]

Other usage in the Philippines[edit]

The term has also come into local usage in which a team/person wins at least three consecutive championships (see "three-peat"). In the defunct Philippine Basketball League, a Grand Slam by PBA definition can be attained since the amateur league also has a three-conference format. The Stag Pale Pilseners lead by future Ginebra San Miguel players Marlou Aquino and Bal David won the PBL version of the Grand Slam in the league's 1995–96 season.[41]


  1. ^ a b PBA GRAND SLAM: 18 years in the making, Tito S. Talao, Tempo, July 11, 2014
  2. ^ Talk 'N Text and the PBA's greatest dynasties, Jay P. Mercado, InterAKTV, February 1, 2012
  3. ^ After 30 years, Crispa's win streak still unmatched, Rey Joble, GMA News Online, December 7, 2010
  4. ^ To honor 1989 grand slam team, Petron to change name back to San Miguel Beermen, GMA News Online, January 13, 2014
  5. ^ Amazing Alaska completes Grand Slam, Jimbo Gulle, Manila Standard, December 18, 1996
  6. ^ History rewritten: Mixers claim PBA Grand Slam Championship, Carlo Pamintuan, Yahoo PH Sports, July 9, 2014
  7. ^ a b c d Chasing A PBA Grand Slam: Crispa, San Miguel, And Alaska Provide The Blueprint For San Mig Coffee's Quest, Paolo Mariano, FHM Philippines, May 26, 2014
  8. ^ As Heat continue to roll, let's recall record win streaks in NBA and PBA, By the numbers: by Fidel Mangonon, Spin. ph, March 21, 2013
  9. ^ Fond Memories of Billy Ray Bates, Tempo, October 11, 2011
  10. ^ Norman Black, Franz Pumaren look back at San Miguel Beer's 1989 Grand Slam, Rey Joble,, January 16, 2014
  11. ^ The ballad of the PBA journeyman, Jay P. Mercado, May 16, 2012
  12. ^ Tim Cone planning to run triangle offense wherever he lands, Reynaldo Belen, InterAKTV, September 6, 2011
  13. ^ Alaska bags AFC crown, Jimbo Gulle, Manila Standard, May 27, 1996
  14. ^ Abarrientos is PBA's '96 MVP, Jimbo Gulle, Manila Standard, December 16, 1996
  15. ^ Cone named B-MEG Llamados' new coach, Renee Folapan, GMA News Online, September 14, 2011
  16. ^ Yap, Simon and Pingris - the big three for big games, The Final Score by Mico Halili, GMA News Online, February 13, 2014
  17. ^ PBA: From a disappointing start, San Mig Coffee Mixers rise to back-to-back titles, GMA News Online, February 26, 2014
  18. ^ Meralco tops San Mig Coffee, finishes Commissioner's Cup elims with winning record,, April 14, 2014
  19. ^ Rain or Shine, Ginebra battle to avoid bottom playoff position; Alaska faces San Mig Coffee,, April 14, 2014
  20. ^ Alaska continues hot run in quarters, pushes San Mig Coffee to the brink,, April 21, 2014
  21. ^ San Mig Coffee ends Alaska's title reign, punches return ticket to semis,, April 26, 2014
  22. ^ History versus hunger: San Mig Coffee, Air 21 open best-of-five semifinals series,, April 29, 2014
  23. ^ Air 21 continues their surprising run with a semis Game One victory over San Mig Coffee,, April 29, 2014
  24. ^ Air 21 shoots down San Mig Coffee, forces do-or-die Game Five,, May 5, 2014
  25. ^ San Mig Coffee pummels Air 21 in semis Game Five, sets up finals rematch with Talk 'N Text,, May 7, 2014
  26. ^ Before Talk N Text, Crispa and Alaska had a shot at historic conference sweep. Find out what happened, "By the Numbers" by Fidel Mangonon III,, May 4, 2014
  27. ^ San Mig Coffee shatters Talk 'N Text streak to draw first blood in finals,, May 9, 2014
  28. ^ San Mig Coffee defeats Talk 'N Text to win Commissioner's Cup, third straight PBA title,, May 15, 2014
  29. ^ Reid game-winner pushes Rain or Shine past San Mig Coffee, Jane Bracer, Rappler, June 17, 2014
  30. ^ Mixers bank on their bench to defeat and eliminate the San Miguel Beermen, Chris Lagunzad, Yahoo PH Sports, June 17, 2014
  31. ^ San Mig Coffee sends home Talk 'N Text, advances to finals, Jane Bracer, Rappler, June 27, 2014
  32. ^ San Mig Super Coffee Mixers claim rare PBA Grand Slam, Rappler, July 10, 2014
  33. ^ Jaworski before Ginebra: A look back at the Big J's Toyota years, Jay P. Mercado, , July 5, 2012
  34. ^ a b c d e f g Destined for a Grand Slam, Sporting Chance: by Quinito Henson, The Philippine Star, July 11, 2014
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i PEX SPECIAL FEATURE: The Top Ten Teams In PBA History, Jay P. Mercado,, September 5, 2013
  36. ^ Can TNT achieve the Grand Slam?, One Game At A Time: by Sev Sarmenta, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 28, 2011
  37. ^ Basketball mania rules the Philippines, Maria Ressa, CNN, October 24, 1995
  38. ^ Tim Cone sees parallels between San Mig Coffee's current run, Alaska's Grand Slam team, Rey Joble,, May 16, 2014
  39. ^ Petron Blaze slams Talk 'N Text in epic game 7 to win Governors' Cup, InterAKTV, August 21, 2011
  40. ^ San Mig's grand slam victory is destiny fullfilled, Bert A. Ramirez, Rappler, July 13, 2014
  41. ^ Yearender: 'Twas a grand slam year in basketball, Jimbo Gulle, Manila Standard, December 28, 1996

See also[edit]