29 September 2010

Reddy Kilowatts to Bolts

In the late 1960's Meralco is one of the pioneer members of the defunct Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA), the premier amateur league of that time. Known as the Reddy Kilowatts, their roster then included future PBA Hall of Famers Robert Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz, among other notable professional cagers.

The team was disbanded in 1972, in the aftermath of the lifetime suspensions given to Robert Jaworski and Alberto "Big Boy" Reynoso after they beat up referees during a match against the Crispa Floro Redmanizers during the 1972 MICAA All-Filipino Cup.

After their disbandment, its players were dispersed in 1973 to different teams. Jaworski, Reynoso (after their lifetime suspension was lifted later that year) and Arnaiz later joined the Komatsu Comets. Eventually, most of the players of the original Meralco franchise will be reunited to the Komatsu team, later renamed Toyota Comets and together with eight other MICAA teams will found the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

On June 2010, there were reports that Meralco expressed interest in joining the PBA and intends to buy either Sta. Lucia's or Barako Bull's franchise after both teams unloaded most of their major players. After Barako Bull informed the board that they intend to stay with the league for the 2010-11 season, Sta. Lucia filed a "leave of absence". On 10 August 2010, the PBA board finally approved the sale of the Sta. Lucia franchise to Meralco.

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