Purefoods All-Time Dream Team

Hotdogs. Ice Cream Stars. Corned Beef Cowboys. Beefies. Giants. Llamados. Coffee Mixers. Hotshots.

Through a number of name changes, the franchise famously known as Purefoods has proven to be one of the most formidable and well-loved teams in PBA history.

In 1988, the team which originally came from the old Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL), decided to purchase the  Tanduay franchise of the Elizalde Group to formalize its entry in the PBA. Purefoods was originally owned by the Ayala Corporation, but was sold to the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) in 2001.

The squad, currently known as Magnolia Hotshots – Pambansang Manok, is ranked third in the all-time list of PBA champion ball clubs with 13 titles, tied with the fabled Crispa Redmanizers.  The Hotshots also had a second best six All-Filipino titles, next to the San Miguel Beermen with seven.

The franchise’s winning tradition lives on from one team name to another. The team has proudly represented various product lines of the Purefoods and SMC franchise – from processed food, noodles, ice cream, poultry feeds,  and to instant coffee mix. Since its inception, a horde of basketball superstars have donned the legendary team’s jersey which has undergone quite a number of name  changes.

In celebration of the franchise’s 20 years in the PBA Foxsports.ph came up with its own version of all-time Purefoods Dream Team broken down as follows:

Reserves

Jojo Lastimosa (SG) — For three seasons, Lastimosa was part of the original Big Three of Purefoods. He, Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codiñera were the original Big Three of the squad and along with Glenn Capacio, they were directly elevated to the PBA team to join the old Tanduay franchise.  He won the Rookie of the Year honors while playing for the old Ayala franchise and was part of the team’s first ever champion squad in the 1990 Third Conference.

Mark Barroca (PG) — Barroca was a member of the SMART-Gilas quintet, an all-amateur team that represented the Philippines in major intrenational tournaments before the  players joined the PBA in 2011.  He was acquired by Purefoods, then known as the B-Meg Derby Ace Lllamados – on Draft Day from Shopinas Clickers, one of the teams owned by Lina Group. In his early years with the franchise, Barroca has won five  titles, including the grand slam in 2014 and was named as Finals MVP in the 2013 Governors Cup when the team was known as San Mig Coffee Mixers.

Peter Jun Simon (SG) — He was the Discovery of the Year of the now defunct MBA when he was playing for the Davao Eagles, but was hardly given attention by PBA teams when he was drafted 41st overall by Sta. Lucia in the 2001 Rookie Draft.  Only when he became a free agent and picked up by Purefoods that Simon’s true worth was realized. He worked as a super sub for James Yap, the two-time MVP, but managed to co-exist with his more illustrious teammate. Now one of the old timers of the franchise, Simon has won seven championships with the ball club.

Glen Capacio (SG) — Capacio was a member of the original Purefoods lineup for its inaugural season in 1988. A known defensive specialist, Capacio was given the moniker “Mr. No Nonsense.” But defense isn’t the only forte of the pride of Far Eastern University as his outside shooting and penetration made him an all-around package. A member of the All-Defensive team eight times, which put him in the list of the second best inclusions along with Chito Loyzaga and Marc Pingris, Capacio won four PBA titles with the squad before he transferred to Mobiline by the end of the 1996 season.

Rey Evangelista (SF) — Evangelista played his entire 15-year PBA career with the Purefoods franchise where he won four championships. He lost in a tightly-fought race for the Rookie of the Year honors to Boybits Victoria, but was selected to be part of the Philippine men’s basketball team along with Purefoods teammates Patrimonio and Codiñera, who were requested to reinforce the San Miguel Beermen, the representatives of the country to the 1994 Asian Games basketball competitions. Evangelista was the Player of the Conference in the 2002 Governors’ Cup and a three-time recipient of the Sportsmanship Award – an all-time record shared with Freddie Abuda.

Joe Devance (PF) — When Tim Cone moved to the Purefoods franchise in 2011, one of the players he took in was an old reliable from Alaska, Joe Devance, a player who can play all five positions in basketball. As a guard, he gives the team a different look as they can create mismatches. As a center, Devance can draw his defender outside while his wide body and height allows him to guard the big guys in the league. But it was his veteran smarts that have become so essential to the old Purefoods’ championship runs as Devance would win five championships for the franchise, including the grand slam in 2014.

Kerby Raymundo (C) — Patrimonio has found his heir apparent when the Hotdogs traded for Batang Red Bull to get the services of young Kerby Raymundo.

A versatile big man, the 6-foot-6 Raymundo became part of the franchise in 2002 and immediately he would become a part of the team’s champion squad in the Governors Cup that season where he was named Finals MVP. He would win two more championships for the squad – the 2005-06 Philippine Cup and the 2009-2010 Philippine Cup and in 2015, the former NCAA MVP was named as one of the 40 Greatest Players in PBA history.

Starting Five

Dindo Pumaren (PG) — Known as “The Bullet”, Pumaren was selected in the second round of the 1989 PBA Draft, considered to be the talent-laden Draft ever. For many years, he was the franchise’s court general and under his leadership, he helped guide the team to winning four championships. Before Johnny Abarrientos burst onto the PBA scene, Pumaren was once considered the best point guard in the league. Coming from a family with rich basketball tradition, Pumaren would end his playing career as the third all-time best assist leaders with (4,043) and fifth best in  all-time steals (902).

James Yap (SG) — Twice decorated as the MVP, Yap is considered the second best player, next to four-time MVP awardee Patrimonio. Like “The Captain”, the man known as “Big Game James” would become endeared to Purefoods fans. A second overall pick in the 2004 PBA Draft, Yap starred for Purefoods for 12 seasons and collected a number of championships and individual awards. Yap led the franchise to seven PBA championships, including the grand slam in 2014. A three-time Mythical First Team member, the pride of Escalante, Negros Occidental was also named as the league MVP in 2006 and 2010. Of his seven championship conquests, Yap also captured four Finals MVP awards – a record he shares with Danny Seigle. Yap was also included in the list of the PBA’s 40 Greatest Players in 2015.

SF – Jean Marc Pingris

One of the most popular players in the PBA today, Pingris is considered the heart and soul of the Hotshots with his all-out energy and hustle on the floor. Like Yap, the “Pinoy Sakuragi” has won seven PBA titles with Purefoods, embellished by two Finals MVP citations. Pingris is an eight-time All-Defensive Team member and a record three-time Defensive Player of the Year awardee. In 2015, Pingris was named as one of the 40 Greatest Players in PBA history.

Pingris would have been a better fit at the power forward position in this list, if not for the one occupying the spot.

PF – Alvin Patrimonio

That “one” would be the greatest power forward in PBA history, Patrimonio. He was the “face” of the Purefoods franchise since his rookie year in 1988 until his retirement in 2004. “The Captain” is a six-time PBA champion with Purefoods, as well as a four-time MVP awardee. In the latter stage of his celebrated PBA career, Patrimonio slid down to the small forward position due to the emergence of bigger, burlier Fil-foreign players at the power forward spot. As a testament to his great basketball abilities, Patrimonio adapted well to the positional change with the addition of the three-point shot to his arsenal. Patrimonio was a member of the PBA’s 25 and 40 Greatest Players lists, and was enshrined to the PBA Hall of Fame in 2011. He was also the fastest player to reach 10,000 points and one of only three members of the 15,000-point club. He was one of only few players, whose jersey number was retired by Purefoods.

C – Jerry Codiñera

Patrimonio’s frontcourt partner, Codiñera, completes the Purefoods starting five. Also a member of the 1988 inaugural lineup, Codiñera was the anchor of Purefoods defense and that distinction allowed him to become the longest member of the All-Defensive team where he is a member 10 times, the most by any player.  Joining forces with Patrimonio, the former UE stalwart won five championships with the franchise before the shocking break up of the deadliest front court duo ever.The “Defense Minister” is the league’s fourth-best shot blocker with 1,221 rejections, as well as the third-best rebounder with 7,034 caroms. He was also named to Mythical First Team three times. Codiñera won his lone Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1994, but was also named as Best Player of the Conference of the Philippine Cup in 1994 and once again in the 1998 Governors Cup.  Fittingly, he was also included in the PBA’s 25 and 40 Greatest Players lists. He is only one of few players, whose jersey number was retired by the Purefoods franchise.

Head Coach: Tim Cone

A number of coaches with great resumes have given a championship or two to the Purefoods franchise. Coaching legend Virgilio “Baby”Dalupan gave Purefoods its first PBA title by winning the 1990 Third Conference against Alaska. Current Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes was at the helm for Purefoods from 1993 to 1996, winning two PBA titles. From 2002 to 2010, it was Ryan Gregorio manning the sidelines for Purefoods, and he won three championships.

But for this “Dream Team”, there’s no better mentor who will guide the squad than Tim Cone, who were able to see these all-time greats strutting there wares in nearly three decades of coaching.

Cone led Purefoods to five PBA titles and a season grand slam in 2014. After guiding Alaska to 13 PBA championships, Cone brought his coaching prowess- and the triangle offense – to the Purefoods camp after 22 seasons with the Wilfred Uytengsu-owned franchise. San Mig Coffee’s triumph in the 2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup brought Cone to the coaching apex, as he overtook Dalupan in the all-time coaches’ list of championship wins while also becoming the only coach to register two grand slams.

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