Great Taste Coffee Makers
|Some or all of this article's listed sources may not be reliable. (November 2011)|
|Great Taste Coffee Makers|
|Presto Ice Cream Makers
N-Rich Coffee Creamers
Presto Fun Drinks
Great Taste Discoverers
Great Taste Coffee Makers
Great Taste Instant Milk
Tivoli Milk Masters
Presto Ice Cream Kings
|Team colors||Great Taste Coffee
Great Taste Milk
Presto Fun Drinks
Presto Ice Cream
|Company||CFC Corporation (now merged with Universal Robina Corporation)|
|Board governor||Ignacio Gotao †|
|Head coach||Tony Genato
Nilo Verona ✝
The Great Taste Coffee Makers were a basketball team that played in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) from 1975 to 1992. It was one of the founding members of the PBA, the Asia's first and oldest professional league. The franchise was owned by CFC Corporation (now merged with Universal Robina Corporation) and named after its brand of instant coffee, Great Taste Coffee. The franchise also played under other CFC brands such as N-Rich, Presto and Tivoli.
The franchise won six PBA championships, mostly under coach Baby Dalupan.
In 1992, CFC Corporation sold its PBA franchise to Sta. Lucia Realty & Development, Inc.
Early years (1975-1983)
While Great Taste was known to be a blockbuster and powerhouse team to those who got to watch the game in the early 1980s, this team was also one of the ragtag and also-ran teams of the 1970s. Not exactly blessed with the biggest names among the present set of players then, they did become competitive owing more on the sheer hearts of their players rather than talents. Notable players who donned the Presto/Great Taste jersey in the 70s included the Guzman brothers Noel and Joel, Manny Paner, Florendo Ritualo (the father of Ren-Ren), Danny Pribhdas (the father of Danilo, Jr of the UST Growling Tigers), and during the early 80s, Estoy Estrada, Jun Papa, Johnny Revilla, among others. Imports who shared the limelight with the Presto locals in their early years included Dana Lewis, Niño Samuel, Jim Hearns, Daryl Smith, Jim Collins, Cisco Oliver (returned in 1978) and Lew Brown. Coaches included Tony Genato (Quinito Henson's father in law), Chino Marquinez (who also acted as team manager) and Nilo Verona.
The Ricardo Brown era (1983-1987)
The real big turnaround started when they were able to secure the services of then Filipino-American rookie Ricardo Brown. It is said that Brown was practically stolen by Great Taste team manager Ignacio Gotao from Crispa owner Danny Floro, who has already formalized a commitment from the "Quick Brown Fox" to play for the Redmanizers. But as fate would have it, Brown was secured for the Coffeemakers, along with Bogs Adornado who was pried away from the U-Tex Wranglers, Manny Victorino (then considered one of 3 elite centers in the league, alongside Ramon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben), Joel Banal, Jimmy Manansala, Joy Carpio, Rafael "Cho' Sison (the 1981 Rookie of the Year), and import Norman Black. Of course, the real sweetener was the entry of Coach Baby Dalupan for the team - first as team consultant behind his godson Jimmy Mariano, only to secure the top coaching job when Mariano was "fired" for his ill-advised statement "we didn't intend to win.” This was said after a shocking loss to lowly Galerie Dominique since Presto was already secured of a slot in the next round.
Now a powerful and potent squad, Great Taste became the toast of the PBA, dominating the mid-1980s, winning four straight championships between 1984 and 1985, with a strong local lineup coupled by even more potent imports in the likes of Joe Binion and Jeff Collins. In 1987, the team even became stronger when the likes of Philip Cezar, Atoy Co, Arnie Tuadles and Bernie Fabiosa joined the Coffee Makers.
The Allan Caidic era and the team disbanded (1987-1992)
Add to this the blue chip rookie in the draft in the name of Allan Caidic and this became the team to beat. They were deemed as the second arrival of the disbanded Redmanizers at that time, with such a talent-laden squad to consider, plus a championship coach to boast of. Presto won its final championship in 1990 featuring the superstar veteran Allan Caidic (named Most Valuable Player of the Year) and rookies Gerald Esplana (named Rookie of the Year) and Apet Jao (the top draft pick). More blue chip players came their way including Vergel Meneses in 1992 and Bong Hawkins until they eventually disbanded at the end of the 1992 season with Sta. Lucia buying the franchise rights including its rights for the first pick of the 1993 draft. It was Jun Limpot who eventually ended up to be the top pick of the said year.
PBA 25 greatest players
In alphabetical order. Members of PBA Hall of Fame are in boldface.
- William "Bogs" Adornado #33
- Ricardo Brown #23 - "The Quick Brown Fox" named 1985 PBA Most Valuable Player
- Allan Caidic #8 - "The Triggerman" named 1987 PBA Rookie of the Year & 1990 PBA Most Valuable Player
- Philip Cezar #18 - "The Scholar"
- Atoy Co #60 and #6 - "The Fortune Cookie" played his final years in the league with the team.
- Bernie Fabiosa #15 - "The Sultan of Swipe"
- Vergel Meneses #4 - "The Aerial Voyager" was the #1 draft pick of the 1992 draft.
- Manny Paner #13 - Became the highest paid Filipino player in 1977, signed a 4-year contract called for P 8,000 a month.
Other notable players
- Ignacio Gotao ✝
- Chino Marquinez ✝
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