Tanduay Rhum Masters
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|Tanduay Rhum Masters|
|Tanduay Distillery (1975-1977)
Tanduay ESQ (1978-1979)
Tanduay Esquires (1980–1981)
Tanduay Rhum Makers (1983–1987)
Tanduay Gold Rhum Masters (1999)
Tanduay Rhum Masters (2000–2001)
|Team colors||Tanduay Distillery/ESQ/Esquires
Red, gold and white
Red, black and white
Red, green and white
Red, black and white
Tanduay Rhum Masters
Red and gold
|Company||Elizalde and Co., Inc.
Tanduay Distillers, Inc.
|Owner(s)||Manuel "Manolo" Elizalde ✝ (1975-1987)
Lucio C. Tan Sr. (1999-2001)
|Head coach||Tanduay Distillery/ESQ/Esquires/YCO-Tanduay/Tanduay Rhum Makers (1975-1987)
Valentin Eduque ✝
Ely Capacio ✝
Tanduay Rhum Masters (1999-2001)
(Disbanded again: 2001)
|Tanduay Gold Rhum|
|Leagues||Philippine Basketball League|
|Team colors||Red and gold
|President||Lucio K. Tan, Jr.|
|Head coach||Alfrancis Chua|
1997-1998 Makati Mayor's Cup
1997-1998 All-Filipino Cup
1998-1999 Centennial Cup
The Tanduay Rhum Makers (1975-1987) and Tanduay Rhum Masters (1999-2001) were two basketball franchises associated with the same liquor brand that played in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
The original franchise, owned by Elizalde & Co., Inc., was a founding member of the PBA. From 1975-1980, the team played under the name Tanduay Distillery; Tanduay ESQ and Tanduay Esquires; then as, YCO-Tanduay in 1981-1983. The final name used by the original franchise was the Tanduay Rhum Makers (1983-1987). The original franchise won a total of three PBA championships. In 1988, the franchise was acquired by Pure Foods Corporation and played as Purefoods.
The second franchise played under the name Tanduay Rhum Masters and was owned by Tanduay Distillers, Inc. (the present owners of the Tanduay liquor business). It first played in the Philippine Basketball League (1997-1999) and joined the PBA (1999-2001). The PBA records of the original Tanduay PBA franchise (1975-1987) were maintained for the second incarnation.
- 1 The original Tanduay franchise (Elizalde era, 1975-1987)
- 2 Second Tanduay franchise (Tan era, 1997-2001)
- 3 Season-by-season records
- 4 Players of note
- 5 See also
- 6 External links
The original Tanduay franchise (Elizalde era, 1975-1987)
Sports patron, Manuel “Manolo” Elizalde, formed the first Philippine basketball dynasty, the YCO Painters, during the post-war era. Players who have donned the famous YCO red and white jersey included Carlos Loyzaga, Bonnie Carbonell, Ed Ocampo, Dading Cuna, Freddie Webb, and Robert Jaworski. Its rivalry with the Ysmael Steel Admirals during the 1950s/1960s, preceded that of Crispa and Toyota in the 1970s/1980s.
The first Tanduay basketball team was organized by Elizalde during the early 1960s for a minor league called the Businessmen’s Athletic Association (BAA). The team, composed of senior YCO players and some collegiate prospects, was short-lived.
In 1975, Elizalde became actively involved in the formation of the Philippine Basketball Association joining forces with several MICAA team owners to break away from the Basketball Association of the Philippines stranglehold. But instead of moving the YCO Painters franchise to the PBA, Elizalde participated in the PBA under the name Tanduay Rhum (a sister company of YCO).
The venerable Carlos Loyzaga handled the coaching chores during the most of the 1970s. Notable players who donned the Tanduay jersey included Freddie Webb, Mike Bilbao, Rene Canent, Valerio "Botchok" Delos Santos, Joy Cleofas, Marte Samson, Rino Salazar, Abe Monzon and Rookies of the Year for 1977 Jimmy Taguines and 1978 Jimmy Manansala. Imports who have played for Tanduay in the early years included Kevin Cluess, Odell Ball, David Payne, Bernard Harris, Gene Moore, Tim Hirten, Curtis Berry, Jerome Henderson, Bill Bozeat and 1981 Reinforced Conference Best Import awardee Russell Murray.
Though competitive, the team started to become a championship contender after a massive rebuilding during the 1985 PBA season, securing former Crispa players like Abet Guidaben, Freddie Hubalde and Padim Israel, along with Willie Generalao from Gilbey's Gin. However, three weeks after the start of the 1985 PBA Reinforced Conference, Guidaben was traded in favor of Ramon Fernandez from Manila Beer.
The original Tanduay franchise won a total of three PBA championships, beginning in the 1986 PBA season during the 1986 PBA Reinforced Conference. After winning its first title, the team brought the championship trophy to the grave of their late owner, Manolo Elizalde. It also won the 1986 PBA All-Filipino Conference and the 1987 PBA Open Conference.
A business blackeye occurred in late 1987 when a couple of Tanduay drinkers died allegedly owing to the liquor. This caused a major backlash in terms of sales as revenues collapsed and almost put the Elizalde & Co., Inc. to bankruptcy.
Second Tanduay franchise (Tan era, 1997-2001)
In the Philippine Basketball League (1997-1999)
In 1997, the Tanduay name resurfaced in the Philippine basketball scene at the Philippine Basketball League under the ownership of Lucio Tan Sr. group of companies and managed by son Lucio "Bong" K. Tan, Jr. Prior to using the name "Tanduay Gold Rhum Masters", this team was known as Stag Pale Pilseners from 1995-1996, with Marlou Aquino, Bal David and Jason Webb in the lineup. The Rhum Masters won several PBL crowns under coach Alfrancis Chua and players Eric Menk, Jomer Rubi, Chris Cantonjos and Mark Telan. It also held a PBL-record 18 straight wins in the 1998–1999 Yakult PBL Centennial Cup, but lost in five games to Doctor J Rubbing Alcohol, when the Centennial Rhum Masters blew a 2–0 lead in the best-of-five affair. After Tanduay's move to the PBA, Asia Brewery kept retained the PBL franchise, renamed as Colt 45 with Ritualo leading the squad. Colt 45 placed fourth in the 1999 PBL Challenge Cup before disbanding from the league.
Return to the PBA (1999-2001)
In 1999, Tanduay made its return to the PBA. As part of the agreement, the league allowed six players from Tanduay's PBL lineup to be elevated. Tanduay also acquired Fil-American Earl Sonny Alvarado as the top pick. The records from the original Tanduay franchise (1975-1987) were retained for this franchise.
In its first season, Tanduay placed second to Shell in the 1999 PBA All-Filipino Conference but their second stint in the PBA were marred by several controversies such as the deportation of alleged "Fil-sham" (bogus Filipino) Alvarado which led to a forfeiture of several Tanduay games during the 2000 season. In the 2001 offseason, Tanduay made soundwaves in the PBA when they signed Danny Ildefonso of corporate rival San Miguel Beermen a whopping 16-year, 98 million peso offersheet. The league though, nullified the said deal since it was believed that the offersheet violated the team's salary cap.
Bong Tan also made a controversial comment calling the PBA, "a San Miguel league", a reference to a speculation that the PBA is favoring the then-San Miguel Corporation teams San Miguel and Barangay Ginebra. It was also said that Tanduay violated the PBA's salary cap many times by having their players sign a separate contract apart from the required PBA Uniform Player's Contract that made the players richer than any PBA team's bench players by a few hundred thousand pesos. This was already denied by the management.
Realizing its failure to win a championship despite a stellar line-up of Fil-American players and established veterans, Tanduay disbanded after the 2001 season, selling its PBA franchise to FedEx Express for a reported sum of PHP 60-75 million. A firesale ensued as the Rhum Masters traded their key players Eric Menk (to Barangay Ginebra Kings), Dondon Hontiveros (to the San Miguel Beermen) and Jeffrey Cariaso (to the Coca-Cola Tigers).
Players of note
First Tanduay team (Elizalde era, 1975-1987)
Second Tanduay team (Tan era, 1999-2001)
- YCO Painters (precursor of the first Tanduay team)
- Stag Pale Pilseners (precursor of the second Tanduay team)
- Tanduay Light Rhum Masters (PBA D-League team, 2011–present)
- Cossack Blue Spirits (PBL team of Tanduay Distillers, Inc.)
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