The past serves as a foundation of the future, so the Philippine Basketball Association acknowledged its pioneering teams as it celebrated its 45th season, Sunday at SMART Araneta Coliseum.
A total of nine teams played for Asia’s first play-for-pay league in its inaugural year in 1975. And all of them laid the groundwork that helped shape the PBA into what it is today.
Those teams were 7-Up, CFC-Presto, Royal Tru-Orange — which is now the San Miguel Beermen — Mariwasa-Noritake, Toyota, Tanduay, Crispa, Concepcion-Carrier, and U-Tex.
Each team had a representative in the ceremonies, led by legends Atoy Co (Crispa); Yoyong Martirez (Royal Tru-Orange); Gil Cortez (Toyota), and coach Turo Valenzona (U-Tex).
Former players Orly Castelo (Tanduay) and Jimmy Mariano (Concepcion-Carrier) were also in attendance.
Meanwhile, former senator Nikki Coseteng, daughter of founding PBA president Emerson Coseteng, came for Mariwasa-Noritake.
Robina Gokongwei-Pe, daughter of John Gokongwei, represented CFC-Presto. The granddaughter of former Uncolas coach Lauro Mumar, Carla Mumar, represented 7-Up.