Ramon Fernandez believes that the present-day San Miguel team is capable of winning at least two Grand Slams.
“Star-studded yun. Tingin ko, two years ago, three years ago, naka-dalawa o tatlong grand slam na sana ang San Miguel sa team na yan eh. Tingin ko, wala dapat tatalo diyan pero I don’t know kung ano ang nangyari,” said the former Beerman during an episode of the Zoom In livecast by SPIN.ph on Thursday.
When asked if the current team underachieved, Fernandez replied: “I haven’t watched them play kung ano cause nung pagkatalo nila but based on their lineup and compared to the lineups of other teams, yun na nga ang nangyari. Dapat tatlong grand slam man lang.”
The Leo Austria-mentored squad has been the most successful PBA team in the past six seasons, winning a total of eight championships including five straight Philippine Cup titles (2015-2019).
Leading the charge is June Mar Fajardo. The 6-foot-10 Cebuano has been at the forefront of all eight championships and has bagged six straight Most Valuable Player awards in the process – breaking the previous record of four shared by Fernandez and Purefoods legend Alvin Patrimonio.
Completing the team’s dreaded ‘Death Five’ along with Fajardo are Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross.
The Beermen almost accomplished the rare triple-crown feat twice. They won the first two conferences of the 2016-17 and 2019 seasons only to fall short of the ultimate goal by fumbling in the Governors’ Cup.
The 67-year old Fernandez, now commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), was part of the SMB team that won the Grand Slam in 1989. They were the third team in PBA history to accomplish the feat after Crispa did it twice – in 1976 and then in 1983. Alaska (1986) and San Mig Coffee (2014) would later on join the exclusive group.