PBA: Petron to switch back to San Miguel Beermen name
MANILA, Philippines – The San Miguel Beermen are back.
The Petron Blaze Boosters are set to switch back to its former name San Miguel Beermen starting next conference in the Commissioner's Cup, the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) second conference.
Team manager Siot Tanquincen confirmed the news to Rappler in a text message saying the name would, indeed, be changed.
San Miguel Corporation chief Ramon S. Ang also told Rappler that they will "now promote SMB (San Miguel Beermen) again in PBA."
The switch comes just in time for the 25th anniversary of the franchise's 1989 Grand Slam feat, where they swept all three conferences in that year.
In a phone call with Rappler, PBA Media Bureau Chief Willie Marcial explained that the PBA received the letter from the San Miguel Corporation owned team on Monday afternoon, January 13. He said the change of name is the franchise's prerogative and they informed the PBA as courtesy.
One of the pioneers in the PBA, the franchise gained popularity and made a name for itself in the 90s and early 2000s using the San Miguel Beermen monicker. They are leading the league in number of titles with a total of 19 championships.
At present, the franchise is led by 2013 PBA MVP Arwind Santos and 2013 Rookie of the Year runner-up June Mar Fajardo along with a deadly backcourt comprised of Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot and Chris Lutz.
Asked how Marcial thinks this will affect the PBA's following, he said the current reaction he's seeing on social media is that fans are generally happy about it. – Rappler.com