The Governors’ Cup has given PBA fans countless great memories.
The final conference of the PBA’s 47th season will commence on January 22. Having a 6-foot-6 height limit, it’s a conference that features imports that possess a perfect mix of skill, athleticism, and strength. Coincidentally, it is also the tournament where we have witnessed some of the most amazing moments in PBA history.
On that note, let’s take a trip down memory lane, and revisit some of the Governors’ Cup’s greatest hits.
Honorable mention: 2014, San Mig Super Coffee Mixers deliver Tim Cone's second Grand Slam
Being the third conference of the season, history is on the side of the Governors’ Cup. After beating Rain or Shine, 3-2, Tim Cone captured his second career Grand Slam. With this, Coffee Mixers stars James Yap and Marc Pingris solidified their place among the game’s greatest legends.
2016, Chris Newsome dunks all over the TNT Ka-Tropa
Not one but two of the most disrespectful dunks in PBA history happened in the semifinals of the 2016 Governors’ Cup. Meralco Bolts high-flyer Chris Newsome woke up that day and chose violence as he threw down a couple of nasty dunks on what felt like the entire TNT organization.
1993, San Miguel Beermen win title vs Swift Mighty Meaty Hotdogs in deciding Game 5
Check this out. SMB had all-timers in Samboy Lim, Ato Agustin, Allan Caidic and A-list reinforcement Kenny Travis. Swift on the other hand, paraded the then-future greats in Vergel Meneses, Nelson Asaytono, along with their cheat code of an import in Tony Harris. The legendary matchups, made for an equally legendary finish, which went the Beermen’s way, 91-89.
However, the most astonishing element of this piece of history is that the RFM franchise’s head coach Yeng Guiao still had a head full of hair at that time.
2001, Sta. Lucia Realtors upset the San Miguel Beermen
This one’s for the die-hard PBA fans. For sure, they won’t forget the time when Sta. Lucia pulled off a major upset against the star-studded San Miguel squad, headlined by Danny Ildefonso, Danny Seigle, and their explosive reinforcement Lamont Strothers. It was a sweet victory, especially for coach Norman Black who basically won against his former team. Behind star big man Dennis Espino, the conference’s Best Import awardee Damian Owens, and the collective effort of the Realtors’ reliable role players, they overcame the odds. Sta. Lucia swingman Gerard Francisco was named Finals MVP after six games.
1996, Alaska completes Grand Slam season
The legacy of the PBA wouldn’t be the same without Alaska’s Grand Slam season. Coach Tim Cone completed the rare feat after beating Ginebra in the finals, 4-1. This achievement undoubtedly contributed to league’s extreme popularity during the 90s.
2016, “The Shot” by Justin Brownlee
In Game 6 of the finals, Justin Brownlee ended Barangay Ginebra’s eight-year title drought with a walk-off game winner from beyond the arc. The deafening reaction of the crowd was the only thing that could describe the significance of that big-balls three. Little did we know that it was just a prelude to Ginebra’s dynastic run in the following years.
Which teams and players do you think will add to the fascinating lore of the Governors’ Cup?