February 28, 2024

It’s not you, it’s management: Biggest breakups that shookt PBA

It’s not you, it’s management: Biggest breakups that shookt PBA
Art by Royce Nicdao

"If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours,  if they don't they never were." Probably one of the corniest "inspirational quotes" ever, and it doesn't even make sense most of the time.

What everyone can agree though is "breakup is a b****" and everybody has something to say when famous couples finally split. That happened with Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion, Dingdong Dantes and Karylle, Kris Aquino and James Yap, Nadine Lustre and Jams Reid, and just recently, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla.

That happens in sports too, and we're all just too proud to admit that it hurts like hell too.

Here are some of the most painful PBA breakups that probably made your titos shed a tear or two.

Jawo-Mon Fernandez

Big J and El Presidente played through 18 finals and won half of that during the first decade of the PBA when they used to play under the legendary Toyota franchise from 1975 to 1983. The following year, Toyota surprisingly sold the franchise prompting the split. Fernandez stayed with Beer Hausen, and Jawo left for Gilbey's Gin. Even before Toyota's departure, there was already a brewing feud between the stars, and for better or worse, that rivalry defined the next decade of the league.

Alvin Patrimonio-Jerry Codiñera

These two big men were a match made in heaven. The Captain terrorized the opposing team with his post moves and the Defense Minister, obviously, took care of manning the paint. The duo won five titles in the 90s for the Purefoods franchise, including three PBA All-Filipino crowns. Before the shift to the new millennium in 1999, Codiñera was shipped to Mobiline for Andy Seigle, marking the end of that era for Purefoods' iconic partnership.

Tim Cone-Alaska

For the longest time, Tim Cone's name was synonymous with Alaska. Different generations literally grew up watching Cone win one championship after another for the Milkmen and eventually the Aces. After 14 titles including a grand slam, one would think that the Cone-Alaska partnership will last this lifetime. That was proven wrong in 2011 when Cone was released after 22 years. Cone eventually won another grand slam for another franchise (Purefoods) and currently has the record for most PBA titles with 25.

Johnny Abarrientos-Alaska

Cone's point guard and court general during the heydays of Alaska, Johnny A quickly made an impact on the franchise when he entered in 1993 and was a pivotal member in all of their eight titles in the '90s. One could argue that The Flying A was the greatest Alaska player of all time. That's why it was as devastating when he was let go in 2001. 

Danny Ildefonso-San Miguel

If anyone on this list can claim that they were hurt the most, it should be Danny I. The Demolition Man, at the tail-end of his career in 2013, has been released by the San Miguel franchise after 15 years of service that includes eight championships, two MVP awards, three Finals MVP, and five Best Player of the Conference plums.

James Yap-Purefoods

Okay, maybe James can say he's the most hurt too? Yap getting traded to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in 2016 felt like an end of an era. Big Game James was the face of PBA for a long time, and his split with Purefoods was hard to take for many because they believe the two-time MVP should have retired with that franchise.

As devastating and as shocking these basketball breakups might be, these are part of the drama that adds flavor and spice to the game we all love. It happened in the past and will definitely happen in the future too.

Just remember, it's not you, it's the management.