(Sorry if I posted this very late, Game 3 is on Sunday, by the way)

by JA Conde

Another crowded finals! Two of the most popular teams in the league take centerstage as they battle for one crown, the import-laced conference or more popularly called, the Fiesta Conference.

This finale is the the fourth time they will face each other, their previous encounters include the 1989 Reinforced, and 2001 & 2007 All-Filipino. And here’s the recap of both teams:

GINEBRA- The defending champions started the season really bad, even managed to moved to 9th place due to the bad play of Rod Nealy, who almost led Ginebra to the semis two years ago  with a 12-6 record, and he was later departured. Uichico later found David Noel, who was one of the most popular slam-dunkers  in the US and came from one of the US’ greatest basketball progams ever in UNC Tar Heels. Prior to Ginebra, he played for the Milawaukee Bucks in the NBA before moving to NBDL, but his life became better when he came in here, and had impressed everyone, even managed to win in the 2009 PBA Slam Dunk Contest. And Ginebra began to move on without Nealy and they began to make upsets which led to an 8-6 record and a #2 seed in the semifinals, wherein they faced the young Rain or Shine team led by Jai Lewis, fellow slam dunker Gabe Norwood and Solomon Mercado, but RoS got the edge early in the series until Ginebra bounced back and won the series in 6 games.

SAN MIGUEL- Nobody expected them to be very competive as they are during the Fiesta Conference, but the what-ifs and doubts did not care for the Beermen team as they started the conference very strong with an 8-0 record, thanks to import recruit Gabe Freeman (Originally, they recruited Nate Carter, but due to contract negotiatons, they got Freeman instead), who didn’t gain much attention like Tiras Wade of Talk ‘n Text. But some losses to Coca-Cola, Rain or Shine, and Burger King made them moved on, as they lost Freeman, who spent free time, and was later replaced by Chris Williams, who only played for them once vs. Sta. Lucia, they later ended up having an 11-3 record. And the coaching staff later thought of who would be their import, is it Williams or Freeman? And they chose Freeman as they faced the changing Burger King Whopper franchise led by Shawn Daniels and Arwind Santos, but SMB defeated them in 6 games.

And now here are the team rosters for the 2 teams


Junjun Cabatu (R)

#1 Chico Lanete

#2 Billy Mamaril

#3 Cyrus Baguio

#4 Rafi Reavis

#5 Macky Escalona (R)

#9 JC Intal

#10 Junthy Valenzuela (INJ)

#13 Jay-jay Helterbrand (C)

#16 Paul Artadi

#18 Doug Kramer

#22 Chirs Pacana

#27 Willie Wilson

#30 Eric Menk

#34 David Noel (I)

#47 Mark Caguioa (IN)

#71 Ronald Tubid

#80 Sunday Salvacion

#98 Homer Se

HEAD COACH: Jong Uichico

ASST. COACHES: Allan Caidic, Juno Sauler, Art dela Cruz, Johnny Abbarientos


TEAM OWNER: Danding Cojuangco



#1 Mike Cortez

#3 Jonas Villanueva

#4 Dorian Pena

#5 Bonbon Custodio

#7 Don-don Hontiveros

#10 Danny Ildefonso

#15 Wesley Gonzales

#16 Marc Pingris

#17 Olsen Racela (C)

#18 Lordy Tugade (INJ)

#21 Samigue Eman (R)

#23 Jay Washington

#25 Gabe Freeman (I)

#27 Froilan Baguion (R)

#34 Mick Pennisi

#41 Kenneth Bono

#42 Danny Seigle (INJ.)

#88 Chris Calaguio

HEAD COACH: Siot Tanquingcen

ASST. COACHES: Gee Abanilla, Pido Jarencio, Biboy Ravanes, Freddie Abuda, and Alton Lister

TEAM MANAGER: Hector Calma

TEAM OWNER: Danding Cojuangco


(Updated list)

PREDICTION: Ginebra in 7 fruitful games

Again? Yes, firstly because both of them are very competitve as we see, but Ginebra has the slight edge, we all know Coach Jong for his pressure, and he can motivate players in the game, while for Coach Siot, he would sometimes force to pressure himself and use the wrong kind of players. Sorry if I was biased, no offenst to all, this is just my opinion.


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