|Team colors||Coca-Cola Tigers
|Company||Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc.|
|Owner(s)||Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc.|
|Board governor||Ronald Asuncion|
|Head coach||Bo Perasol|
|Retired numbers||1 (19)|
The Powerade Tigers were a professional basketball team that played in the Philippine Basketball Association from 2002 to 2012. The franchise was owned by Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) when the company acquired Cosmos Bottling Corporation from RFM Corporation. From 2002 to 2010, the team played as the Coca-Cola Tigers. The franchise won two PBA championships (2002 and 2003).
- 1 Beginnings
- 2 Coca-Cola Tigers (2002-2010)
- 3 Powerade Tigers (2010-2012)
- 4 Final Roster
- 5 Head Coaches
- 6 Season-by-season records
- 7 Players of note
- 8 References
In 2001, RFM Corporation sold its subsidiary Cosmos Bottling Corporation, including its PBA franchise, to Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI), then a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation (SMC),
Coca-Cola Tigers (2002-2010)
|Coca Cola Tigers|
In its maiden season, the Tigers failed to capture the first two conferences of the tournament (a third place finish in the Governor's Cup and a disappointing quarterfinals finish in the Commissioner's Cup), the Tigers surged ahead in the All-Filipino Conference. Bannered by Rudy Hatfield and Jeffrey Cariaso after serving time with the national team, Coca-Cola defeated their then-sister team San Miguel in the semi-finals to enter their first finals appearance against the Alaska Aces.
After losing Johnny Abarrientos in Game One of the best-of-five series, the Tigers won the next three games to secure their first-ever PBA title. Ironically, the Tigers clinched the series on the first PBA game held on Christmas Day.
During their second season in the league, Coca-Cola failed to win the championship in the first two conferences. In the All-Filipino Conference, the Tigers blew a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as their counterparts Talk 'N Text won the next four games to win the series. In the Invitational tournament, Alaska took revenge on the Tigers, winning the said tournament in three games.
But the Tigers succeeded in the Reinforced Conference. Bannered by former Mobiline import Artemus McClary, Coke won against San Miguel in seven grueling games to win their second PBA crown.
McClary was named Best Import of the tournament while Hatfield won the Best Player of the Conference award for the first time in his career.
In the 2004-2005 PBA Philippine Cup, the Tigers struggled after the indefinite suspension of Rudy Hatfield due to citizenship issues, the acquisition of Ali Peek and John Arigo from Alaska in exchange for Jeffrey Cariaso and Reynel Hugnatan midway through the tournament and the naming of Chot Reyes as the head coach of the Philippine National team, the Tigers were eliminated by another sister-team Purefoods in the wild-card phase, 2-1.
During the offseason, the Tigers selected FEU playmaker Denok Miranda in the first round, Magnolia Ice Cream forward Neil Rañeses and Montaña Pawnshop's Al Magpayo in the second round in the PBA Rookie Draft while hiring Barangay Ginebra assistant Binky Favis as the team's third head coach in nine months. The Tigers entered the 2005-2006 PBA Fiesta Conference as one of the least contenders. Coca-Cola Tigers finished ninth place in the classification phase and was eliminated by San Miguel in the Survivor Round.
In the 2006 PBA Philippine Cup, the Tigers went 7-9 in the classification phase. However, after starting the season 4-0 and 6-2 in the first round, the Tigers lost seven of the last eight games, falling in a tie for fifth place with the Air21 Express. Both teams played a one-game match for the final outright quarterfinals berth in the playoffs on May 28 with the Tigers defeating the Express 97-83. The win gave the Tigers its first quarterfinals berth since the 2004 Fiesta Conference. The Tigers lost to the Alaska Aces, 3-1 in the quarterfinals.
CCBPI sold to The Coca-Cola Company
Months before the start of the season, the Tigers were involved in a three-team trade involving former sister team Barangay Ginebra Kings and Air21 Express in one of the most celebrated and controversial transactions in league history.
In the deal, the Tigers dealt Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and the rights to Rudy Hatfield to Ginebra. The Kings sent Aries Dimaunahan and Ervin Sotto, along with future draft picks to Air21 while Coca-Cola received Kalani Ferreria from Brgy. Ginebra, Ryan Bernardo from Air21 and Manny Ramos (initially from Ginebra but was received from Air21 under the revised version of the deal).
During the draft held in Market-Market, Taguig, the Coca Cola Tigers selected ex-La Salle shooting guard Joseph Yeo as the third overall pick in the first round. The Tigers then chose FEU hotshot R.J. Rizada (12th pick), PSBA standout Manuel Caceres (14th pick), St. Francis of Assisi shooting guard Chris Pacana (15th pick), Air21 Express traded their 2006 second round pick for the Tigers 2007 second round pick that was sealed on the draft day, slotman/center Mike Gavino (16th pick), and ex-Letran guard Ronjay Enrile (17th pick) in the second round.
At the start of the season, Coca-Cola struggled throughout the conference due to its depleted lineup but had its share of surprising wins over Red Bull and Sta. Lucia among others. The Tigers barely made it to the wildcard phase with a 5-13 record.
In the wildcard phase, Coke pulled off a 99-98 come-from-behind win over Alaska on a Denok Miranda buzzer-beating triple. But the Tigers lost their next two games to bow out of contention for the quarterfinals phase.
But prior to the start of the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference, it was announced that the Atlanta-based company will have full control of the franchise, with coaches, players and management staying upon further notice, saying the Coca-Cola Company would honor their existing contracts.
On March 23, 2007, team manager Allan Caidic announced his resignation from his post to allow the Coca-Cola Company to have a free hand in running the team affairs. It was speculated that the move was because of Caidic's loyalty to the former team owner Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco.
The Tigers won their first two games with Anthony Johnson, but soon suffered a series of defeats. Because of these, the Tigers made a change on its lineup. Coca-Cola replaced Johnson with Jeff Varem and acquired 1998 PBA MVP Kenneth Duremdes, Alex Cabagnot and Ricky Calimag from Sta. Lucia in exchange of Denok Miranda, Manny Ramos and future picks. The Tigers finish 7th in the classification phase and was relegated to wildcard phase.
With scoring import Rashad Bell at the helm, Coke beat Purefoods in the first knockout wildcard match, but suffered a monumental 102-101 loss to San Miguel in the last match for the quarterfinals, despite leading 101-97 with 13 seconds to play.
After a dismal season, Coca-Cola head coach Binky Favis made some interesting moves that made the Tigers a competitive team during the 33rd season. Looking for a man in the middle and guards to boost its lineup, the Tigers pawned center/forward Mark Telan from Air21 in exchange for its two 1st round picks in the 2007 draft and signed Egay Echavez in the free agent pool. On draft night, the Tigers picked former Emilio Aguinaldo standout Ronjay Buenafe as the 11th overall in the 2nd round.
On the start of the 33rd season, the Tigers won their first game against expansion team the Welcoat Dragons but then suffered a franchise-worst eight straight losses.
Because of injuries and a string set of setbacks, Coca-Cola took Aries Dimaunahan from Air21. On November 26, the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals traded franchise player Asi Taulava to the Coca-Cola Tigers in exchange for Ali Peek and a 2008 first round pick. Asi "The Rock" then became Coke's main skipper. He then led his team to a five-game winning streak that was enough to get the Tigers through the wildcard phase with a 7-11 card during the season.
In the wildcard phase, the Tigers eliminated the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals and Air21 Express to get into the quarterfinals, the lowest-seed to do so. In the quarterfinals, the Tigers ran out of gas as the Alaska Aces swept them in the best-of-3 series, partly due to overfatigue on the part of the Tigers.
Having the second-worst elimination round record, the Tigers, along with the Welcoat Dragons were allowed to acquire an import 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) in height, aside from the import of unrestricted height that the other teams had.
In preparation for the 35th season of the PBA, Coca-Cola unloaded several players from their line-up and underwent team-rebuilding process. They traded Ronjay Buenafe to the Burger King for Marvin Cruz and Chris Ross. They traded also traded Aries Dimaunahan and M.C. Caceres to Barako Bull for Ken Bono. Another move they made was they settled a trade with the Sta. Lucia Realtors acquiring Dennis Espino in exchange of Jason Misolas and a future draft pick. They then signed free agents Norman Gonzales and Larry Rodriguez.
At the start of the season, Coca-Cola assigned then-assistant coach Kenneth Duremdes to his first Head Coaching duties with the Tigers. After a few games, Duremdes was then assigned as the Team Manager and Assistant Coach Bo Perasol took over as Head Coach. After a dismal start in the Philippine Cup campaign, the Tigers made a move by getting Burger King stalwart Gary David alongside Chico Lanete, while giving up all-around Guard Alex Cabagnot and shooter Wesley Gonzales in a deal. After the trade, they then went on to win 4 straight games, but still ended up in the 7th seed of the team standings. The Tigers defeated Burger King in their first Wildcard match before bowing out to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the next game.
At the start of the Fiesta Cup, the team was running well as they won three straight games and four of their first five including a win over powerhouse team the San Miguel Beermen. But after a great start, the Tigers then lost their last seven games. They ended their losing streak by winning against the Barako Bull Energy Boosters. They finished the eliminations with an 8-10 record and advanced to the Wildcard round. They won their knockout match against Sta. Lucia but got eliminated again by Rain or Shine at the conclusion of the wildcards.
Powerade Tigers (2010-2012)
With the change of team name, big man Asi Taulava stated that he would remain and would like to retire with the franchise, and hoped to win a title with the team, even though reports circulated that expansion team Meralco Bolts was interested with the former MVP. Having no first round pick in the draft, the Tigers used their 18th pick to acquire a point guard that would strengthen their backcourt. On Draft Day, Powerade selected Jai Reyes of the Ateneo de Manila University as their 18th pick in the 2010 Draft. On the same day, Powerade acquired Air21's 6th pick, Sean Michael Anthony, and Ren-Ren Ritualo in exchange for future draft picks. During the off-season, Powerade did not renew the contracts of four players from the previous year namely Cesar Catli, Ricky Calimag, R.J. Rizada, and Marvin Cruz. On September 22, 2010, Asi Taulava was included in the three-team trade involving the Meralco Bolts and the Barako Bull Energy Boosters. Powerade received Barako's Robert Reyes and Meralco's 2011 and 2012 second-round picks. Barako received Powerade's Ken Bono and Meralco's Beau Belga, Jason Misolas, and Khasim Mirza. Meralco then got Powerade's Asi Taulava.
2011-12 season: Final season
After a disappointing season, Powerade began offseason buildup by releasing Rob Reyes and Chico Lanete, then resigning Ricky Calimag and signing free agents Alex Crisano, James Martinez and Rudy Lingganay. In the 2011 PBA Draft, Powerade selected Gilas standouts JVee Casio and Marcio Lassiter, and acquired Josh Vanlandingham and Doug Kramer through trades. JVee Casio however was injured as the season began and debuted a few weeks later.
The team finished with 6 wins and 8 losses and ranked 8th. With Gary David averaging almost 30 points per game during the playoffs, they had managed to beat the B-Meg Llamados, the 1st seeded team in two games. They beat the Yeng Guiao-led Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the semifinals in seven games. They enter the finals with a heavy underdog tag against the Chot Reyes-mentored Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. Without JVee Casio in game 1, they lost against the Texters in a score of 100-116. In game 2, they lost against the in a score of 92-106. In game 3, they lost in a score of 126-133. In game 4, they won in a score of 100-97. In game 5, they lost against the Texters in a score of 101-110, thus finishing the 2nd place in the Philippine Cup and Talk 'n Text becoming the champion.
Before the start of Commissioner's Cup, the Petron Blaze Boosters was interested with the Powerade's 2011 4th overall pick Marcio Lassiter who was one of the instrumental in Powerade’s Cinderella run to the finals of the Philippine Cup. Their first offer were Nonoy Baclao, and Rey Guevarra in exchange for Marcio Lassiter. But on February 20, 2012, PBA vetoed the controversial trade.
At the start of the Commissioner's Cup, the team acquired Dwayne Jones as an import and lead them to a 4 wins and 5 losses. They tied with and got eliminated by Meralco Bolts in a score of 98-102 on the knock-out game for 6th place. The team finished 7th place.
After the disappointing conference for both Powerade (4-5) and Petron (3-6), Powerade rookie star Marcio Lassiter is again on the trading block with Petron. Finally on April 20, 2012, the Philippine Basketball Association approved the trade in which Powerade sent Marcio Lassiter and Celino Cruz to Petron for Rey Guevarra, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, and Lordy Tugade.
On May 1, 2012, another controversial trade was vetoed by the PBA which will sent Doug Kramer to Barako Bull Energy in exchange for Jondan Salvador. On May 5, 2012, the revised trade which will sent Doug Kramer to Barako Bull Energy in exchange for Jondan Salvador plus its 2012 1st round pick from Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters was accepted by the PBA.
On the Governor's Cup, the team acquired Rashad McCants and become a favored import over to his counterpart imports but gave the team a disappointing 2-losing streak at the start of the Governor's cup. He is replaced by Omar Sneed and gave the team a 4-winning streak but later suffered a 3-losing streak, despite a need of 1 more win to book a semi-finals ticket. Because of this, they advanced to the 6th-seed playoffs. They won their knockout match against Barako Bull Energy but got eliminated again by Meralco Bolts.
Disbandment and sale to GlobalPort
Rumors surfaced during the semifinal round of the 2011-12 Philippine Cup that the franchise would be sold back to the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), due to an between SMC and The Coca-Cola Company (the parent company of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)), that in the event the PBA franchise becomes up for sale, SMC will have the right of first refusal. The sale however did not push through and CCBPI committed to compete until the end of the season.
JB Baylon resigns as a Powerade Governor on February 17, 2012 due to the connection between the rumors of the franchise sale and the controversial proposal trade of Marcio Lassiter. CCBPI wrote the PBA to advise the appointment of Ronald Asuncion as alternate governor.
On May 1, 2012, rumors spread that CCBPI is bowing out of the PBA because of the two recent controversial trading of its marquee players to other teams.
Powerade Tigers roster
Final Depth chart
|Pos.||Starting 5||Bench 1||Bench 2||Bench 3|
|C||Omar Sneed||Rabeh Al-Hussaini||Alex Crisano||Rommel Adducul|
|PF||Jondan Salvador||William Antonio||Ricky Calimag|
|SF||Sean Anthony||Josh Vanlandingham||Francis Allera|
|SG||Gary David||Rey Guevarra||Lordy Tugade|
|PG||JVee Casio||Rudy Lingganay||James Martinez|
|Powerade Tigers head coaches|
- Records from the 2011–12 PBA season:
|Conf.||Team name||Elimination round||Playoffs|
|Powerade def. B-Meg** 97–88, 131–122 (OT)
Powerade 4, Rain or Shine 3
Talk 'N Text 4, Powerade 1
|COM||7th/10||4||5||.444||6th-seed playoff||Meralco 102, Powerade 98*|
|GOV||8th/10||4||5||.444||1st elim. playoff
2nd elim. playoff
|Powerade 99, Barako Bull 95*
Meralco 94, Powerade 86*
|Total elimination round||14||18||.438||1 semifinal appearances|
|Total playoffs||7||7||.500||1 Finals appearances|
|Total 2011–12||21||25||.457||0 championships|
|Total franchise||216||239||.475||2 championships|
**team had the twice-to-beat advantage
Players of note
PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team
- Johnny Abarrientos - 1996 PBA MVP. Member of the Tigers 2002 and 2006 championship teams and the PBA all time steals leader.
- Kenneth Duremdes - The 1998 Most Valuable Player. Acquired in 2007 Fiesta Conference from Sta. Lucia with Alex Cabagnot and Ricky Calimag in exchange of Dennis Miranda, Manny Ramos and Coke's 2008 second round pick
Other notable players
- Jeffrey Cariaso - Member of the Tigers 2002 and 2003 championship teams, named Finals MVP of the 2003 Reinforced Conference
- Gary David - Best Player of the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup, Member of PBA's 5,000 point club, and 3-Time PBA Scoring Champion from 2009–10 season to 2011-12.
- Rudy Hatfield - Member of the Tigers 2002 and 2003 championship teams, named Best Player of the 2003 Reinforced Conference
- Edward Juinio - Tigers' center during their 2002 and 2003 championship runs
- Billy Mamaril - played for Coke in the 2005-06 PBA season
- Ali Peek- Member of PBA's 5,000 point club, Tigers' center from 2004- 05 season to 2007-08
- Rafi Reavis - one of the team's first-ever draft choice in 2002, member of the 2002 and 2003 championship teams.
- Freddie Abuda - multiple Defensive Player of the Year awardee.
- Rashad Bell- played in 2007 Fiesta Conference
- Calvin Cage- played in 2008 Fiesta Conference, played only one game at the Tigers before getting injured
- Alex Carcamo- played in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference
- Russell Carter
- Carlos Daniel- played in 2002
- Brandon Dean- played for 2008 Fiesta Conference
- Jason Dixon- played in 2008 Fiesta Conference
- Rosell Ellis- played in the 2002 Governors Cup
- George Gervin, Jr.- played in 2008 Fiesta Conference,son of former NBA great George Gervin Sr.
- Ron Hale- played in 2002
- Bakari Hendrix- played only one game at the Tigers before getting injured
- Darell Johns- played in 2004-05 season
- Anthony Johnson- played for the 1st nine games of 2007 Fiesta Conference
- Dwayne Jones- played in the 2012 Commissioner's Cup
- Rashad McCants - played only first two games in the 2012 Governors Cup
- Artemus McClary- named Best Import of the 2003 Reinforced Conference, led Tigers to the title of the said conference
- James Penny- played in 2009 PBA Fiesta Conference
- Jaja Richards- played in 2004 Fiesta Conference
- Mark Sanford- played in 2004 Fiesta Conference
- Omar Sneed - last import; played in the 2012 Governors Cup
- James Sullinger- played in 2009 PBA Fiesta Conference
- Omar Thomas- played in 2004
- Jeff Varem- played in 2007 Fiesta Conference
- Fred Williams- played in 2003
- 19 Kenneth Duremdes – retired on March 23, 2012 before a Powerade-Alaska game
- David, Cabagnot switch places, PBA.com.ph
- Coca-Cola arranges KO match vs ROS, PBA.com.ph
- ROS continues winning ways, climbs for QF, PBA.com.ph
- Coke scratch and claw early solo lead, PBA.com.ph
- Coca-Cola drops PBA brand name for Powerade, Rey Joble, GMANews.TV
- Bolts want power inside, PBAddicts.net
- Powerade Tigers ready to work their way up PBA Ladder, PBA.com.ph
- Baclao chosen over Rabeh as 1st overall, TeamPilipinas.info
- It's Payday for Express rookies, Cedelf P. Tupas, Inquirer.net
- Powerade shifts Taulava to Meralco, PBA-online.net
- Meralco Draftees figure in new Asi deal, Nelson Beltran, Philstar.com
- PBA vetoes Lassiter trade to Petron, Interaksyon.com/interaktv
- PBA approves Lassiter-to-Petron deal; Powerade ‘happy with trade’, Interaksyon.com/interaktv
- http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/pba-approves-pena-trade-vetoes-kramer-salvador-deal PBA approves Peña trade, vetoes Kramer-Salvador deal, Interaksyon.com/interaktv
- http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/kramer-psyched-to-join-barako-bull Kramer psyched to join Barako Bull, Interaksyon.com/interaktv
- Powerade franchise back with San Miguel, Sports.inquirer.net
- Top exec Baylon out as Powerade governor, Interaksyon.com/interaktv
- http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/is-coca-cola-bowing-out-of-the-pba Is Coca-Cola bowing out of the PBA?, Interaksyon.com/interaktv
- PBA: Powerade franchise sold to Mikee Romero-owned Sultan 900 Inc., GMA News Online, July 30, 2012
- Goodbye Tigers: Coca-Cola sells Powerade PBA franchise to Mikee Romero, InterAKTV, July 30, 2012
- Mikee takes over Powerade, Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star, July 31, 2012
- GlobalPort officially accepted as newest member of the PBA, Rey Joble, InterAKTV, August 17, 2012
- PBA: Sale of Powerade Tigers franchise to Romero group approved, GMA News Online, August 17, 2012
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