The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (ROS) captured their first PBA crown Sunday at the expense of the heavily favored B-Meg Llamados led by former two time MVP James Yap. ROS of course was able to endure the loss of their ace rookie and top scorer Paul Lee, who bowed out of the series by aggravating his shoulder injury, they also endured inexperience as ALL of them (except Yeng Guiao’s coaching staff, who are holdovers from the old Red Bull Franchise of the late Tony Chua) are appearing in a PBA Finals series for the very first time.
Well I guess you guys might read a few articles on how the once dominant team in the PBL got their first championship and how long the journey was for the team who debuted during the 2006-2007 season, how the team battled to numerous disappointment on their way to their first title in franchise history. So instead of writing the history or the struggles of this particular franchise, instead I want to share a few useless trivia (s) from its personnel, meaning the players from Rain or Shine who won a collegiate title with their respective alma mater. So, if you want to add things up (assuming someone is reading this feel free to add trivias and players who I forgot to add, fair?). Ok lets start..
BEAU BELGA 30 – Good God, I forgot he’s that “thin” back in college, Belga together with 2004 Rookie of the Year and League MVP Gabby Espinas, Jason Castro and Robert Sanz gave PCU its only collegiate basketball title in 2004 against the University of Perpetual Help Altas.
RONJAY BUENAFE 23 – due to the lack of coverage, I don’t know what else to add here except that the EAC Generals defeated my Alma Mater De La Salle University – Dasmariñas in 2005, now I know why my Patriots lost. I also heard stories that the Generals had an undefeated season during one of those title runs.
CHITO JAIME 21 – the only thing that I can find with Chito Jaime is random pictures from the PBA, Al Magpayo’s back, the STI basketball team etc. etc. He won a NAASCU title with AMA Computer University in 2008, grabbing MVP honors as well.
JERVY CRUZ 20 – Jervy was one of the vital cogs of that tough UST team that also included Jojo Duncil, Dylan Ababou, Francis Allera and I could go on and on. They went up against the Doug Kramer/JC Intal led Ateneo Blue Eagles in an emotionally charged series. Remember repeat ’96 in 69.* They were coached by “The Fireman” Pido Jarencio. Jervy was also a mythical 5 member.
RYAN ARAÑA 18 – yes the title was forfeited to FEU, after La Salle found out that the institution has fielded in ineligible players during their 2004 UAAP campaign. But the memory of “winning” that championship (against the Arwin Santos led FEU Tamaraws) is still fresh to every La Sallians and La Sallians at heart.
TY TANG 11 – Ty Tang was also a member of that 2004 “Championship Team” with Ryan Araña, he then won a legitimate title in 2007, beating the undefeated UE Red Warriors who is ironically led by ROS teammate Paul Lee while alternating starting point guard duties with future RP team stalwart and #1 pick Jayvee Casio.
*Note: If you’re wondering why Gabe Norwood wasn’t on the list, the reason for that is because Gabe’s team the George Mason University may have a good run during the NCAA tournament in 2005 reaching the Final 4 but they lost to the eventual champion Florida Gators led by Joackim Noah and Al Horford, and I’m pretty sure they weren’t champions on their conference either.
**More Notes: the year 1996 was the last basketball time for the UST Growling Tigers, that was season 59. UST was led by Chris Cantonjos, Henry Ong, Dennis Espino, Bal David among others who claimed their dominance during the 90s.
Pictures taken from Flicker, Pinoyexchange, Interkaktv, EAC Generals Blogsite and hoopnut.blogspot.com