Double Grand Slam for SMB?
Now that the San Miguel Beermen have conquered the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, they are on course for a second Grand Slam in franchise history, which would match Crispa’s feat (1976 and 1983).
And based on their performance in the season’s first two conferences, some experts have boldly predicted that with the help of another valuable import and barring injuries to its locals in the third conference, that goal is achievable.
Some say that the team’s lineup is competitive enough even for the international arena.
The Beermen’s victory was a follow-up to its All-Filipino title, which it won over sister team Barangay Ginebra.
It was SMB’s fifth championship in the last eight conferences under coach Austria and 24th overall, the most by any team in the league .
What made it sweeter for Austria was the fact that he was able to put an end to the Beermen’s 17-year Commissioners’ Cup title drought which was last won in 2000.
“We’ve got a great collection of championships already. Each championship has its character and each is special. The championship glory is something you can’t buy. We’ll cherish this,” said Austria, who’s now facing a tough task of giving the SMB franchise its second triple crown.
San Miguel Beer first scored its first Grand Slam in 1989 with a team led by Ramon Fernandez, Hector Calma, Samboy Lim and Ricky Brown.
In winning the second conference, coach Austria relied on his formidable lineup—Charles Rhodes, June Mar Fajardo, conference MVP Chris Ross, Finals MVP Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos.
These players will be at the forefront of SMB’s campaign for the rare double Grand Slam.
The Governor’s Cup opens on July 19 and San Miguel Beer will parade wide-bodied Wendell McKines, who had stints with Alaska and Rain or Shine.
Let’s see if San Miguel can duplicate its sterling performance in the first two conferences of 2017 PBA season en route to the much-coveted triple crown.