PBA fans, don't you miss the teams in the past. Those teams that you love to hate when battling your fave team. Here's one..
Swift Mighty Meaty / Sunkist - One of the most feared teams during the 90's. Gave the league's regular contenders a run for their money. With Coach Yeng Guiao, as their first coach, he instilled a fighting heart for the team. Became more popular as they swept Pepsi Mega in the Finals. Tony Harris was the import back then. Made history by scoring 106 points in an out-of-town game against Ginebra.
Former players were Al Solis, a great 3-point shooter and also RicRic Marata. They also had Nelson Asaytono as main man back then. Before Meneses joined the team from Sta. Lucia. They also had defensive specialists like Eric Reyes, Yoyoy Villamin and Zaldy Realubit.
In the '93 season, Guiao made a bold decision, stating the they would cut their hair if someone beats them in the playoffs. That was one of the biggest news back then. However, SMB beat them at a game so they all were skinheads.Had import Ronnie Thompkins who helped them win the 1993 Commissioner's Cup title.
Boybits Victoria was drafted in 1994, and Kenneth Duramdes in 1995. Derrick Pumaren became their coach and won the titles in the season's first 2 conferences sans Alaska ( who would win the Grand Slam the next year).
They beat Alaska in the All Filipino Cup and then again in the Commy Cup with Ronny Grandison as their import. Meneses won his first and only MVP that year (and his final championship).
Meneses and Asaytono was the backbone of the team back then. Plus the improvement of Bonel Balingit. Many believed that they would win the Grand Slam that year with Stevin Smith as their import in the Governor's Cup. But Alaska has another plans and is about to begin their dynasty on the 90's. Sunkist did not even reached the Finals of that conference as Alaska then bannered by resident import Sean Chambers beat the Kenny Travis led SMB team in the Finals.
The following season they traded Yoyoy Villamin to Pepsi in exchange for Alvin Teng. In the 1996 season they began to struggle as they failed to win a title that year. But still they had the same core. But a mid season trade was completed that sent Nelson Asaytono to SMB in exchange for Ato Agustin. The management thought that an Agustin-Meneses tandem will be better as the rift between Asaytono and Meneses was there.
The following season they drafted Nic Belasco, to fill in the void left by "The Bull" at the power forward spot. But still the team went downhill as they struggled just reach the playoffs that year.
In 1998 they drafted Ali Peek, Brix Encarnacion and Jasper Ocampo. But the teams' struggles still continued. Norman Black was named head coach in search for a change. But he also had a disappointing stint in the team.The team also was coached by Turo Valenzona
Mid season of 1999 season they traded Vergel Meneses for Noli Locsin. Again they were always at the end of the standings. It was in 2000 that they signed Chot Reyes as their coach. They also rehired Asaytono and added Jojo Lastimosa.
The following year they traded for Johnny Abarrientos and Poch Juinio, letting go of Ali Peek and the disappointing Jon Ordonio. Also added Pido Jarencio, as they began to improve by each conference. Hatfield also was signed bt y the team.
However the SMC conglomerate bought this franchise which was owned by the Concepcion family. Other notable personalities from the team were Manager Elmer Yanga and owner Joey Concepcion who was always at the ballgames to support this team. They also changed names from Pop Cola Panthers to Coca Cola Tigers as SMC took over of the team.