Hoops brotherhood: PBA siblings on same team

They say basketball is a brotherhood. This idea becomes even more pronounced when brothers suit up for the same team. 

If Rain or Shine ends up signing Kenneth Mocon and pairing him up with younger brother Javee for the upcoming PBA season, the two will form a complementary duo that could be integral to coach Chris Gavina's rotation.

Javee blossomed in the previous Philippine Cup held in a bubble as Rain or Shine's main gunner when he averaged a team-high 12 points and 7.1 rebounds. His versatility and all-around brilliance made him a matchup puzzle for opposing coaches. Javee is expected to play an even bigger role this year as he tries to further establish himself among the league's echelon of stars. 

Kenneth, meanwhile, will do his work on the opposite end of the floor in the same manner he carved his niche in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) as the defensive lynchpin of Davao Occidental's championship run. Davao coach Don Dulay described Kenneth as the hardest worker he has seen and arguably the best defender in the MPBL.

If ever, the Mocons would be the only sibling tandem who would see action for the same club next season. The last time brothers wore the same jerseys was when twins David and Anthony Semerad played for TNT in 2019.

There have been a number of sibling duos who had the opportunity to team up in the PBA. When the league opened shop in 1975, there were 4 pairs who were teammates. The most recognizable among them was the Reynoso brothers, Big Boy and Tino, who played for powerhouse Toyota. The two were instrumental in the Comets winning the first two conferences of the league's maiden season. 

Big Boy, one of the most feared enforcers in Philippine basketball in those days, was already 35 years old during the PBA's first year of existence. Although he stood at only 6-foot-2, he often played center, allowing Ramon Fernandez to slide to the power forward spot. Tino, on the other hand, played guard/forward and was the more potent scorer. 

Toyota archrival Crispa paraded its own version of a brother duo when David Cezar joined Philip in the Redmanizer fold in 1976, the year the team won its first Grand Slam. However, unlike Philip who was a starter and made that year's Mythical First Team, the 5-foot-11 David had trouble cracking Crispa's loaded wing rotation, which featured back-to-back MVP Bogs Adornado, Atoy Co, Freddie Hubalde, Bernie Fabiosa, and Cristino Calilan.

Perhaps the most prominent brother duo was Chito and Joey Loyzaga, who played together in the PBA beginning in 1986. The two were basketball royalty being the sons of Caloy Loyzaga, generally regarded as the best Filipino cager in history. The Loyzagas were harnessed by one of the top collegiate programs in the country, the San Beda Red Lions, in the 1970s. Their tandem became all the more significant as they joined forces at Ginebra San Miguel/Añejo Rhum, the team that is arguably the most popular and has the largest fan base in the country.

The Loyzaga brothers were a bruising pair on the floor as they both knew how to utilize their wide frame effectively on both ends of the court. They were also excellent shooters who hurt opposing teams with their long-range sniping. 

Chito, though, shone brighter as an immovable force on defense. He made the All-Defensive Team 8 times, a testament to his consistency and tenacity on defense. Though not the most mobile of defenders, Chito had quick hands, great anticipation, and high basketball IQ which allowed him to outfox the players he guarded. One of the most iconic images in Philippine basketball history is that of the 6-foot-2 Chito making life miserable for 7-foot-8 Ri Myung-Hun in a 1990 Asian Games match, which the Philippines won thanks in large part to his defense on the North Korean giant.

Perhaps the best stretch of Joey's career was the 1988 PBA All-Filipino Conference. In what was virtually a knockout game against San Miguel Beer for the last finals spot, Joey baited Beermen center Abet Guidaben to help on defense, leaving Añejo Rhum slotman Romy Mamaril open for a pass from Joey that led to the game-winning basket. In the finals, Joey topscored in Game 1 with 26 points and in Game 4 with 28 points to help Añejo defeat Purefoods in 4 games. In 1989, he was named to the Veterans squad of the first-ever PBA All-Star Game.

Over at the Formula Shell camp in 1989, Arnie Tuadles signed with the club just as his relatively unknown brother Calvin from Southwestern University in Cebu got drafted by the team. Shell looked for the older Arnie to provide experience for the team, which was built around youngsters Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc. Arnie delivered as expected, while Calvin turned out to be a surprise package as he provided instant offense off the bench. He became part of the squad's regular rotation, ahead of veterans such as Freddie Hubalde, Jimmy Manansala, Tim Coloso, and Leo Austria. 

Two pairs of big men brother tandems also found themselves donning the same uniforms in the pro league.

Jerry Codiñera was joined at Purefoods by his brother Harmon, who was a mid-season acquisition by the team in 1991. Harmon, however, failed to find his spot in the Purefoods frontline that featured Alvin Patrimonio, Nelson Asaytono, and Joey Santamaria. Before their brief reunion at Purefoods, the Codiñeras represented the country together as part of the national team that won a bronze medal in the 1986 Asian Games. 

Yancy and Ranidel De Ocampo also both played for the national squad, but not at the same time. The two, however, were teammates on numerous occasions. This started in college when they led Saint Francis of Assisi to multiple NCRAA titles. They found themselves on the same PBA team when Ranidel was drafted by Yancy's squad, FedEx Express, in 2004. 

They once again linked up at Talk 'N Text, where they both played key roles in the team's 2009 Philippine Cup title conquest. Yancy shone in Game 1 of the finals with 11 points, 5 boards, and 1 block, although TNT dropped the series opener. Ranidel then erupted for 20 points in Game 2 and posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 boards in Game 5. He put up another double-double of 12 points and 11 boards in Game 7 as the De Ocampos won their first title together in the PBA. – Rappler.com