The second part of course will not include Billy Ray Bates’ partner and teammate at Ginebra, Michael Hackett. And as I mentioned in the first part, I will exclude Billy Ray’s four-game stint in the 1988 Reinforced third conference. That means Alaska’s then sensational import Willie Bland, who scored 65 points against Bates, will not be on the list. So here are the best imports that Billy Ray went up with while playing for Ginebra San Miguel.
Michael Young (Manila Beer)
When talking about Billy Ray Bates’ stint with Ginebra, expect that PBA fans will mentioned Michael Young of Manila Beer. The count was seven wins for Bates and one win for Young, who won the best import award in the 1986 third conference over Bates. In the first meeting between Ginebra and Manila Beer on October 7, 1986, both teams were unbeaten with three wins each, there was one sequence in the third quarter when Billy Ray’s triple was answered by Young’s own three-pointer at the other end, and when Young went high up for a follow-up, one-handed dunk after a Brewmasters’ miss, the ULTRA crowd were so delighted and the Manila Beer bench were up on their seats. Bates and Hackett had the last laugh in the end on Ginebras’ 16-3 run late in the fourth period after being down by nine. The highlight of the endgame was when Atoy Co missed an easy layup on a fastbreak when Ginebra went ahead, 110-109. (On why there are no recorded videos or existing games of Ginebra-Manila Beer and Ginebra-Tanduay match in the ’86 Open) Bates and Hackett mocked the Brewmasters by jumping with high fives and Billy even got his own rebound after he missed his second free throw for a 113-109 count at the buzzer. I remember the commentators were saying “it was like a championship.” Bates was outscored by Hackett for the first time in four games, finishing with 44 points to Hackett’s 47, while Young scored 57 points for the Brewmasters.
Their second round match-up in the elimination round was a no-bearing game as both teams already clinch a semifinal slot. Ginebra and Manila Beer only met once in the semis as their last outing was no longer played to prepare both teams to the finals. In their semifinal game on November 20, it was Ginebra who led this time late in the fourth quarter, 110-100, when the Brewmasters battled back and Young tied the count at 114-all with his triple. After a Ginebra turnover, Manila Beer coach Tito Eduque decided to call his final timeout for one last play, incidentally, it was Hackett, who stole the ball from Michael Young and was dribbling fast and pushed by Young and Hackett crashes all the way to the special ringside seats with about two or three seconds left in the game. After a delay for a few minutes when officials check on Hackett, he split his foul shots, converting the second free throw for a final 115-114 tally, Young from way too far, threw an airball at the buzzer. Bates scored 38 points while Young scored less with 36. Hackett got his 31st marker on that lone, winning free throw.
The championship series, which went 4-1 in Ginebra’s favor, had two buzzer-beaters, Bates’ dunk in Game one and Hackett’s lucky prayer of a shot that forces the first overtime in Game four. Each time, the Manila Beer Brewmasters were on a verge of winning the game in regulation.
Rob Williams (Tanduay Rhum)
No import match-up is more intense than when Bates was pitted against that season’s first conference best import Rob Williams, who earlier led Tanduay to their first championship. In another highly-anticipated game on October 12, 1986, the Rhum Makers deal the Ginebras its first loss in the tournament after four straight victories, 114-109. Rob Williams shot 52 points for Tanduay while Bates scored 39 points for Ginebra. I recall when Ginebra was having a run early in the fourth and were leading by six-seven points, Rob Williams hit a three-pointer plus a foul, which turn the game around in Tanduay’s favor. The Black Superman was said to be angry on the loss (BRB never lost to the Tanduay team during his Crispa days) and was quote in the October 30-November 5, 1986 issue of Sports Flash Magazine prior to Ginebra’s second meeting with Tanduay on November 2, that he bowed to get back at Tanduay and told Sports Flash “I’m still the best. Rob Williams is so fat he will not be able to control me. The question is whether Williams can play 48 minutes against the No.1 import in the PBA,”
Ginebra did avenged their previous loss to Tanduay with a hard-earned 126-118 win in the second round of eliminations, Bates outscored Williams this time, 50 to 36. In two games in the semifinals, Bates proved his superiority over Williams as Ginebra defeated Tanduay with ease.
Dexter Shouse (Shell)
Besides Michael Young and Rob Williams, Dexter Shouse is another colorful import the late 80s PBA fans remember more in a rivalry with Bates. Among the imports in the second part of my listings, only Shouse had played against Bates in more than one conference. Their teams split two meetings each in the 1986 and 1987 Third Conference. Bates, no doubt had the better overall stats than Shouse. In their last match-up on October 25, 1987, Billy Ray equalled his previous all-time high of 69 points in Ginebra’s 132-123 victory over Shell. Shouse scored his high total as well with 55 points. Who would have thought Shouse played his last game as a Shell bugbuster that night.
Bobby Parks (San Miguel Beer)
As in my previous write-up, the soon-to-be seven-time PBA best import awardee, then playing for San Miguel Beer, was with the team that keeps on beating their sister ballclub during the 1987 Third Conference. Bates scored more points and average 54.25 points in Ginebra’s four outings with the Beermen while Parks had a 50.25 points average. Too bad for PBA fans that Bates never got to play once more against Parks, this time in Shell uniform in the following season. In more than three weeks in a period from September-October 1988, both Parks (PBA/IBA Cup) and Bates don the Anejo jersey.
Jose Slaughter (Hills Bros.)
Slaughter is best remembered for providing the winning basket for Hills Bros Coffee Kings against Ginebra in a playoff for a finals berth which ended Bates’ streak of winning PBA titles. Both imports outscored one another in each of their team’s victory. Slaughter scored 62 points as to Bates’ 49 in their first meeting on October 15, won by Hills Bros, 132-121. Ginebra won in the second round of eliminations on October 27 as Bates poured in 61 points to Slaughter’s 44 in a 125-101 victory. Slaughter again outscored Bates, 55-48, in their first meeting in the semifinals won by the Coffee Kings, 115-104 on November 15. Two weeks later, Slaughter had his lowest ouput against Ginebra with 30 points and Bates scored 44 points as the Gins forces a playoff match with a 90-85 win. In their final encounter on December 1, Slaughter finished with 43 points in Hills Bros’ 89-87 victory, Bates tallied 39 points.