May 15, 2020

Revisiting Shell's breakthrough championship

PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp., under various brand banners, slugged it out with the best of them in PBA hardcourt for 20 years, churning out four championships, including the historic first in an epic title duel with Anejo Rum 65 won exactly 30 years ago today.

It was May 15, 1990 when Shell ended a search for a PBA crown.

The late super import Bobby Parks Sr., Tower of Power Benjie Paras and Point Laureate Ronnie Magsanoc led the Shell Rimula X squad to the 1990 First Conference diadem that they clinched on the infamous Anejo walkout resulting to game forfeiture.

The late Arnie Tuadles, current SMB coach Leo Austria, Richard Bognot, Romeo dela Rosa, Ed Ducut, Aris Franco, Jojo Martin, Primitivo Mutia, Jay Ramirez, Jing Ruiz and Calvin Tuadles were the other members of the team, propelling Shell to the very top after coming up short in three previous finals stints.

It was quite a run with a bizarre ending, with their opponents leaving the floor in protest of what they felt as a biased officiating.

Sponsored content:
As playing coach Robert Jaworski and his 65ers refused to return and resume play, then commissioner Rudy Salud declared the Arlene Rodriguez-mentored Zoom Masters as winners via forfeiture, and Shell won the championship that would be remembered for a long, long time.

Anejo and Shell shared top honors in the elims with identical 8-2 win-loss records. But as they won six of eight games in the semifinal round, the Zoom Masters grabbed the first finals seat at 14-4, then the 65ers gained the rights to challenge Shell for the crown with their 12-6 slate.

It was a finale featuring a classic import matchup pitting Parks and Sylvester Gray.

A big, big factor for Shell was Magsanoc being at his finest, unstoppable with his three-point bombs.

Parks sizzled with 50 points while Magsanoc frolicked with 29 as Shell took Game 1 at 134-131. The duo combined for 69 as Shell won Game 3, 156-134, and put together 78 as the Zoom Masters zoomed to a 3-1 series lead with a 138-135 overtime thriller in Game 4.

Sponsored content:
To the 65ers belonged Games 2 (135-127) and 5 (130-101).

Then came the fateful Game 6.

The Zoom Masters were enjoying a 62-47 lead with 2:52 left in the second quarter when the walkout took place.

Irked by the two technical fouls charged against Rey Cuenco, and the fifth foul slapped on Gray, Jaworski led the 65ers towards the exits, never to return again.

As the waiting period lapsed, the Zoom Masters poured out their emotions and whooped it up in celebration.(SB)