In the top 5 wins by Purefoods over Anejo Rum 65, I pick four during their first season in 1988. The following year, the hotdogs had dominated their rivals during the first two conferences, winning four of their first five meetings with Anejo’s only win, a one-point victory, 112-111 on June 22, in their early clash during the All-Filipino Conference. Anejo scored a 134-123 victory over Purefoods in a no-bearing contest on August 17, 1989, with the Hotdogs and the San Miguel Beermen already in the finals, that game may well be the least attended and less significant match in the Purefoods-Anejo two-year rivalry in the 1980s.
Now here’s the top 5 wins by Purefoods against Anejo Rum.
1. August 18, 1988, All-Filipino Conference, 1st round of the semifinals
Both teams are at first and second place of the standings, Purefoods was 10-5, scoring two wins in the semis but lost to Great Taste in their last game in which the Milkmasters played without the suspended Allan Caidic, Anejo Rum also scored two victories in the semis and at 9-5, a win by the 65ers will give them solo leadership, it was a see-saw battle as the scoring by periods says it all, 30-18 for Purefoods in the 1st quarter, 50-48 for Anejo in the 2nd, and 86-77 for Purefoods in the 3rd. In the fourth quarter, the 65ers went up by eight, 100-92 on Dondon Ampalayo’s triple, the hotdogs answered with a 10-2 barrage to level the count at 102-all, back-to-back baskets by Chito Loyzaga and Leo Isaac gave Anejo a 106-102 lead with 58 seconds remaining, Purefoods sued for time and in the hotdogs’ inbound play, Al Solis buried a three-point shot with only seven seconds elapse to push the Hotdogs to within 105-106, time down to 51 seconds. Purefoods fans were anticipating a meltdown on Anejo’s next play, and true enough, the Hotdogs scored the last four points on four free throws by Alvin Patrimonio inside 18 seconds, both from a foul by Anejo playing coach Sonny Jaworski, the 65ers missed their final offensive play as Purefoods completed an amazing 7-0 run in a 109-106 victory.
The TV ratings in the Purefoods-Anejo semifinal game on August 18 soared to a phenomenal high, those were the days when basketball was the favorite pastime of every filipinos.
2. July 12, 1988, All-Filipino Conference, 1st round of eliminations
Their first meeting in the All-Filipino Conference, Purefoods’ prized rookie Alvin Patrimonio was playing only his fourth game in the pro league, and as in their four previous encounters during the Open Conference, Anejo, then Ginebra, dominated the first half of action. In this match, the 65ers led by 18 points at halftime, 61-43, highlighted by Jaworski’s behind-the-back pass on Chito Loyzaga, who converted a buzzer-beating triple. Anejo led by as much as 19 points in the third quarter, 73-54, but the hotdogs came back strongly, down by eight, 75-83, going into the final quarter. Jojo Lastimosa broke the last deadlock at 106-all when he completed a three-point play off a foul from Jaworski with 1:19 to go, that spark a 7-2 Purefoods run for a 113-108 edge, the 65ers still have a chance on a goal-tending call with 23 seconds remaining but missed their final three-point attempt as the hotdogs win, 114-110.
3. May 22, 1988, First Conference, 2nd round of the semifinals
Purefoods’ 111-109 overtime win over Ginebra send the Hotdogs into the finals of the Open Conference against San Miguel Beer, a loss would mean a playoff with Ginebra for the second finals berth.
4. April 5, 1988, First Conference, 1st round of eliminations
Their first-ever meeting, as previously discussed, the Hotdogs carved out a 116-110 win, its third victory in four outings during the elimination round, Ginebra San Miguel, which led by 16 points early in the third quarter, fell to its second loss in three games.
5. April 4, 1989, First Conference, 2nd round of eliminations
The two teams were down at the cellar, Purefoods was 2-5 and Anejo has lost five in a row and has yet to win a ballgame since their import Darren Queenan plane in, the 65ers were 1-6 and in danger of missing the semifinals. This game is best remembered for the incident “Big J punch Jolas” at some point in the final quarter. In a slow-mo replay, it appeared Jojo Lastimosa might have tripped the Anejo playing coach, causing him to fall down and during the inbound play, the Big J sneaked in a punch on Lastimosa that was uncalled for, that punching foul committed by Jaworski earned him a suspension in Anejo’s next game, the Hotdogs played well with Pido Jarencio providing the needed baskets coming off the bench in this 131-115 victory that put the 65ers on a brink of elimination.