27 July 2016

Star Hotshots Franchise Up For Sale?

Star Hotshots For Sale?
Despite not having a stellar debut year for the Star Hotshots, coach Jason Webb was retained by the management unlike the fate of his previous predecessors. Could there be something ominous going on inside the team that nobody knows about which made them stick with a coach who was not able to give them a worthy performance?

There are rumors running around that the reason why Webb has not been fired yet is because its owner, the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Group of Companies, is considering selling it soon. Two potential buyers are reported to have the inside track: Uniliver and SM Group.

If the rumors are true, then the league will soon see the end of nearly three decades of storied franchise, which is also one of three crowd-drawing teams in the league.

The franchise plays under numerous brand names of the company but is best known under its original name, Purefoods. It won thirteen PBA titles and is the fourth team in PBA history to win a Grand Slam.

The player most identified with the franchise is Alvin Patrimonio, who led the franchise to six championships and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) for four times. Patrimonio retired in 2004 and currently serves as its team manager.

Prior to joining the PBA in 1988, Purefoods was a member of the Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL, later renamed the Philippine Basketball League) and was one of the strongest teams during its tenure with the amateur league. In early 1988, Pure Foods Corporation (then, a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation) acquired the PBA franchise of the original Tanduay team in early 1981, after Elizalde & Company, Inc. announced it was leaving the PBA.

In 2001, Pure Foods Corporation, including its PBA franchise, was sold by Ayala Corporation to San Miguel Corporation. The following year, Pure Foods Corporation was renamed San Miguel Pure Foods Company, Inc. The franchise continued to play under the Purefoods banner until 2010.

From 2010 to 2014, the franchise played under other brand names of the company - B-Meg (from 2010 to 2012) and San Mig Coffee (from 2012 to 2014).

The franchise reverted to the Purefoods banner for the 2014-2016 season (playing as the Purefoods Star Hotshots).

If the sale is consummated any time soon, Purefoods fans are expected to see some of the team's big guns, including former MVP James Yap, finding their way to the two other teams being manged by SMC, San Miguel Beermen and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. The transfers would be done using "conduits" since sister teams cannot be involved in direct trades.

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