The Purefoods Corporation, once part of the Ayala Group of Companies, bought the Tanduay franchise prior to the 1988 PBA season.
Purefoods-Hormel Corporation was later bought by San Miguel Corporation in 2001 with the team retaining their colors. The team later got its new monicker, Tender Juicy Giants, starting at the 2006-07 Fiesta Conference.
Arguably, the most popular Purefoods player is Alvin Patrimonio, who led the franchise to six championships in the 1990s and early 2000s, and was named Most Valuable Player four times. Patrimonio retired in 2004 to concentrate more on his duties as the current team manager.
Prior to joining the PBA in 1988, Purefoods was a member of the Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL, now the Philippine Basketball League) and was one of the strongest teams during their tenure with the amateur league.
Tanduay Rhum Masters
The original Tanduay team won three PBA title from 1975 to 1987 - those three championships were captured during the '86 and '87 seasons with coach Turo Valenzona, league MVP Ramon Fernandez, Freddie Hubalde, Padim Israel and import David Thirdkill.
After the 1987 season, in an emotional press conference, Tanduay announced that it was leaving the PBA. The franchise rights were then sold to Purefoods before the 1988 season.
The lineage of the first Tanduay squad and Purefoods was removed after the sale and is considered a different entity.
Under the Ayala Corporation
1988-1989: Early years
|Inaugural Season Roster (1988)|
|Ramon Fernandez (Player/Coach)|
|Ramon dela Cruz|
|Jose Bernardo Yango|
|Artemio Marquez, Jr.|
|David Thirdkill - Import|
|*started playing in the 2nd conference|
</DIV>As part of the deal to join the league, Purefoods was allowed to take some amateur players from the PABL and the national team. Purefoods then drafted Alvin Patrimonio, Jojo Lastimosa, Jerry Codiñera, Glenn Capacio, and Jack Tanuan. They also added Al Solis and Totoy Marquez from Shell.
However, there was a surrounding controversy on the case of Patrimonio, as his PABL team Swift denied Patrimonio's release. However, before the All-Filipino Conference, they have settled the issue and Patrimonio joined the team.
Purefoods also took Fernandez, Hubalde, Israel and Onchie dela Cruz from the Tanduay squad. David Thirdkill was hired as Purefoods' import for the Open Conference and Fernandez was the team's playing coach during this time.
In the next conference, they met crowd favorite Añejo Rhum in the Finals. Purefoods lost the series 3-1 against a veteran and rugged team of playing coach Robert Jaworski. Controversy arose during the series as Fernandez was ordered to be benched by then-owner Jaime Zobel de Ayala amid rumors of game-fixing. This issue led to Fernandez's transfer to San Miguel Beer for Abet Guidaben late in the season. Cris Calilan replaced Fernandez as head coach. Lastimosa was named as the 1988 Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.
In 1989, Purefoods lost in six games to San Miguel in the All-Filipino Cup. An incident also happened during this series when Samboy Lim nearly suffered a career-ending injury when he drove over Jojo Lastimosa causing him to fall off-balance.
1990-1994: Glory days
The Air Force took a 2-0 lead with a win away to clinch the best of five series. However, the team of legendary coach Baby Dalupan led a stunning comeback to win the series 3-2, giving the franchise its first PBA title.
The championship was Dalupan's last but achieved a milestone as the first coach in PBA history to win PBA championships in three different decades. The other coach who achieved this feat was Norman Black.
During the offseason, Purefoods traded Lastimosa to Alaska for Boy Cabahug and Al Solis to Sarsi for Jun Tan. They also signed Elmer Reyes.
In 1991, Patrimonio was offered a 5-year, 25 million peso deal by Pepsi Cola, which was matched by Purefoods. With the development he became the highest paid player in the league. With this, Purefoods was able to beat Sarsi to win the 1991 All-Filipino Conference under head coach Eli Capacio.
Patrimonio won the 1991 Most Valuable Player, the first of a record-tying four MVPs he had won.
Purefoods failed to defend the crown in 1992, losing in seven games to San Miguel Beer.
In 1993, Purefoods renamed their team as the Coney Island Ice Cream Stars, an ice cream brand introduced by the Ayala corporation. They drafted 4 rookies that year - Dwight Lago, Benny Cheng, Freddie Abuda and Olsen Racela; and acquired veteran forward Abe King from the disbanded Presto team. The Stars won the 1993 All-Filipino Conference defeating San Miguel Beer, 4-2. Their head coach was Chot Reyes, and achieved a milestone for winning the title in his first conference as coach.
Coney Island reverted back to Purefoods in the Commissioner's Cup and was defeated by Swift for the crown of the said tournament.
Alvin Patrimonio won his second Most Valuable Player award after the season.
The team went back to the Coney Island monicker for the 1994 All-Filipino Conference and drafted 3 rookies - Rey Evangelista, Vince Hizon and Peter Naron. However, the team added another rookie in Richie Ticzon whom they acquired through a draft-day trade that sent veteran point guard Dindo Pumaren and Dwight Lago to Pepsi Mega. To add experience to the roster, Coney Island had to trade incoming sophomore Benny Cheng to Ginebra for veteran Manny Victorino and acquired 1992 Rookie of the Year Bong Ravena from San Miguel Beer in exchange for Kevin Ramas. The league gave an incentive to the champion of the said conference which gives them the opportunity to represent the country in the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan. However, Coney Island lost in six games to San Miguel. However, the San Miguel squad was decimated with several injuries to their key players. This allowed San Miguel to grab Purefoods' Patrimonio, Codiñera and rookie Rey Evangelista. The Philippines placed fourth in the basketball competitions.
In the Commissioner's Cup, with Kenny Redfield as import, Purefoods won the title in five games against Alaska Milk.
Patrimonio won his second consecutive MVP and third overall. Evangelista was a prime candidate to win the Rookie of the Year award but lost to Swift's Boybits Victoria.
1995-2000: Ups and downs
In 1995, Purefoods failed to enter the championship of the three conferences alloted, showing only two fourth place finishes in the All-Filipino and the Commissioner's Cup.
During the offseason, Purefoods retooled its lineup by trading Vince Hizon to Ginebra and reacquired former Purefoods players Dindo Pumaren and Jack Tanuan through trades conducted with Pepsi and Sta. Lucia respectively.
In the Governor's Cup, Purefoods struggled during the said conference and fielded in several imports in hopes of reversing their misfortunes. After the season, Chot Reyes left the Purefoods team to became the head coach of the Sta. Lucia Realtors.
In 1997 PBA season, rookie coach Eric Altamirano took over as coach of the Purefoods Corned Beef Cowboys. In his very first conference, Purefoods won the All-Filipino Cup defeating the Gordon's Gin Boars in six games for their first title in three years.
After a sorry performance in the Commissioner's Cup, the newly-christened Purefoods Carne Norte Cowboys lost in the finals of the Governor's Cup to Alaska, 4-1. Their import was the talented Mike Jones who lost in a battle for Best Import honors.
Alvin Patrimonio won his fourth and final Most Valuable Player Award, tying former teammate and idol Ramon Fernandez for the most number of MVP awards won.
After getting booted out of the semi-finals of the 1998 All-Filipino Cup, Altamirano left Purefoods to join the Mobiline Phone Pals. Derrick Pumaren became his replacement but failed to lead Purefoods to a Finals appearance.
Purefoods struggled in the 1999 PBA season All-Filipino Cup despite acquiring Filipino-American Al Segova. During the Commissioner's Cup, Jerry Codiñera was traded to Mobiline for Andy Seigle. The trade ended the long-time partnership of Patrimonio and Codinera, who was known as the "Defense Minister". Segova later was banished after he was proven as a fake Filipino-American. Purefoods failed to get past the quarterfinals of each conference.
In 2000, Purefoods was not considered a favorite to win the All-Filipino Cup but after a controversial win over Tanduay in the semis, resulting in a forfeiture of games won by Tanduay during the series for fielding fake Filipino-American Sonny Alvarado in Games 2 and 3 won by the Rhum Masters. The TJ Hotdogs lost in five games to the Alaska Milkmen. In the third conference, the Governor's Cup, the Derrick Brown-led Purefoods team lost to San Miguel, 4-1.
Under the San Miguel Corporation
A distraction affected the team off the court when the Ayala Group sold Purefoods Hormel to food and beverage giant San Miguel Corporation. The problem with this development was that SMC already had two PBA ballclubs in San Miguel and Barangay Ginebra, which meant that either the Ayala group had to retain their team under a new banner or for SMC to disband the team after the season since it was not allowed by the league for a company to own three teams in the league.
Eventually, the PBA Board of Governors adjusted the rule and allowed Purefoods to stay in the league. The TJ Hotdogs, however, never made the semis in any conference that year.
Altamirano concentrated his duties with the National team in 2002 as an assistant coach. Taking over for a while was his assistant, Ryan Gregorio. Gregorio led Purefoods to a successful championship run in the Governor's Cup defeating Alaska in seven games. Kerby Raymundo, acquired from Red Bull prior to the start of the tournament was the Finals MVP. Derrick Brown was the conference Best Import while Rey Evangelista was the Best Player of the Conference.
However, Purefoods became a mediocre team in the Commissioner's Cup and the All-Filipino Conference. After the season, Ronnie Magsanoc won the Comeback Player of the Year Award and announced his retirement after he received the award. Gregorio and Coca Cola Tigers mentor Chot Reyes was named co-winners of the Coach of the Year Award.
In 2003, Gregorio was named as the head coach of the team as Altamirano was reassigned to the traveling SMC All-Stars (composed of former PBA all-stars). Purefoods each failed to enter the quarterfinals of the three conferences. In the Reinforced Conference, they have former NBA protege Lenny Cooke, but Cooke later suffered an injury to deny the Hotdogs a chance to enter the quarterfinals.
During Patrimonio's birthday celebration on November 26, 2004 (Patrimonio's birthday was on November 17), he announced his retirement in an emotional speech, ending his illustrious 16 year career to concentrate his role as team manager.
His number was retired in December, becoming the first Purefoods player to have his jersey retired. Purefoods was the only team Patrimonio played for in the PBA.
Purefoods nabbed University of the East (UE) star and UAAP MVP James Yap with the second overall pick in the 2004 PBA Draft. Paul Artadi, Yap's teammate at UE and the PBL's Welcoat Paintmasters, was chosen by the team in the second round.
The rebuilding process began for Purefoods despite a dismal showing in the 2004 PBA Fiesta Conference. In the 2004-05 Philippine Cup, Purefoods was eliminated by the Shell Turbo Chargers in the quarterfinals. Same can be said in the 2005 Fiesta Conference, when Shell eliminated them in the same predicament.
Purefoods Chunkee Giants
Prior to the start of the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference, Purefoods replaced their TJ Hotdogs monicker with the Chunkee Giants. The Chunkee Giants was a reference to the team's new chunky corned beef product Purefoods Chunkee Corned Beef. Purefoods selected PBL MVP Jondan Salvador with the fourth pick in the first round of the draft.
Purefoods hired Marquin Chandler as import and Purefoods went on to record a 10-6 first place finish in the classification phase, earning them an outright semis berth.
The Giants beat the up and coming Air21 Express in six games of the semi-finals. However, they lost in the Finals of the tournament to Red Bull in six games. But their runner-up finish was the best since winning the 2002 Governors Cup. Chandler won Best Import honors while Kerby Raymundo lost to Enrico Vilanueva for Best Player of the Conference honors.
In the 2006 PBA Philippine Cup, the Chunkee Giants finished with a 12-4 record and a first-place finish in the classification phase, earning them an outright semi-finals berth for the second time this season. However, on May 14, Eugene Tejada suffered a freak injury in a game against Red Bull Barako, which led him to suffer serious injuries that paralyzed him. In the semifinals, Purefoods won the series in seven games after trailing the Alaska Aces 1-3, becoming only the second team since the 1991 Ginebra San Miguel team to come back from a 1-3 deficit in a PBA best-of-seven series. In six games, the Chunkee Giants won the 2006 Philippine Cup, 4-2, over Red Bull. It was Purefoods' first title since the 2002 Govenors Cup, and the first All-Filipino Cup title since 1997. Marc Pingris was named as the Finals Most Valuable Player.
In the succeeding 2006-07 season, Purefoods managed to end up with a 10-8 win-loss record. In a knockout game for the second outright quarterfinals berth, the Giants came-from-behind to beat Sta Lucia to avoid going further down to the grueling wild-card phase.
In the quarterfinals, the Chunkee Giants lost to the Talk N' Text Phone Pals, 3-1. Despite a Game 1 victory, Purefoods lost the next three games convincingly by double figures and failed to repeat as champions of the Philippine Cup.
Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants
Purefoods has renamed its team to the Tender Juicy Giants for the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference. However, the team paraded with a depleted line-up. Forward-centers Kerby Raymundo and Marc Pingris were respectively loaned to the Philippine National Team and placed on injured list. James Yap was also facing issues regarding his marital problems with wife Kris and being snubbed from the National Team. Although Marquin Chandler returned for a second tour of duty with Purefoods, the team had a badly depleted frontline that saw them only Richard Yee and Arnold Gamboa manning the slot. Although James Yap successfully removed the distractions affecting his game following the birth of his first son James Jr., the Giants decided to get the next big man available in the PBA to help the team. As a result, they acquired Rommel Adducul from San Miguel Beermen thru a three-team trade with the Red Bull Barako which also saw Enrico Villanueva donning a Beermen jersey. Reserve Don Camaso was the casualty of the trade as he was sent to Red Bull. Some PBA teams denounced the trade transaction because of the "restricted player" trade rule in which only top players could be traded for one another to avoid imbalance in the league. But the protests quickly subsided after the PBA approved the said trade after learning that Villanueva was removed from the restricted list and Adducul was finally allowed to play for the Giants.
Purefoods was able to escape early elimination after beating the Welcoat Dragons in the knockout game. "Big Game" James Yap scored 40 points to lead the Giants to the wildcard phase, only to be knocked out by the Coca-Cola Tigers where he again scored 40 points but failed to deliver the win for the team. For his efforts, Yap was picked by Chot Reyes to be part of the National Team to play for the upcoming FIBA-Asia tournament in Tokushima, Japan.
Under the Ayala Corporation, despite the changing names of the franchise, the colors blue and white remained as the team colors. When the San Miguel Corporation took over, red was incorporated into the team colors.
Players of note
PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team
- Jerry Codiñera - "The Defense Minister" played for Purefoods from 1988-1999; one of the top centers in the PBA during his stint with the team and was named Best Player of the Conference in 1994 and 1998
- Bernie Fabiosa - "The Sultan of Swipe" played for Purefoods in 1990.
- Ramon Fernandez - "The Franchise" played for Purefoods for 2/3's of the 1988 as part of the purchase of the Tanduay franchise; led the team to the finals but was later traded to San Miguel and won the MVP honors
- Abet Guidaben - played for Purefoods in 1988 after being acquired from San Miguel for Mon Fernandez
- Freddie Hubalde - played for Purefoods in 1988 as part of the purchase of the Tanduay franchise but later moved to Shell in 1989.
- Jojo Lastimosa - "The Helicopter" played for Purefoods from 1988-1990 before being traded to Alaska. Was named Rookie of the Year in 1988.
- Ronnie Magsanoc - "The Point Laureate" played for Purefoods from 2001-2002; member of the 2002 Governors Cup title squad and was named Most Improved Player that same season.
- Alvin Patrimonio - "The Captain" played his entire career with the team (1988-2004) and was named the league's Most Valuable Player four times. Considered as the greatest player in franchise history.
Not to be forgetten
- Alejo "Pongkee" Alolor
- Paul "Bong" Alvarez (Mr. Excitement)
- Frechie Ang
- Nelson Asaytono
- Gido Babilonia (RIP)
- Bonel Balingit
- Cris Bolado
- Elmer "Boy" Cabahug
- Jessie Cabanayan
- Santiago "Sonny" Cabatu
- Glen Capacio
- Benny Cheng
- Harmon Codiñera
- Arturo "Bai" Cristobal
- Rommel Daep
- Tony Dela Cerna
- Ramon "Onchie" Dela Cruz (The Executioner)
- Ruben Dela Rosa
- Nani Demegillio
- Egay Echavez
- Rudy Enterina (Rudy E.)
- Jolly Escobar
- Teodorico "Boyet" Fernandez
- Arnold Gamboa
- Wilfredo "Willie" Generalao (The General)
- Joey Guanio
- Vince Hizon (The Prince)
- Federico "Padim" Israel
- Pido Jarencio (The Fireman)
- Abe King (The Chairman of the Board)
- Elmer Lago
- Francisco "Frankie" Lim
- Totoy Marquez
- Jose Cadel Mosqueda
- Peter Naron
- Ferdinand "Dindo" Pumaren (The Bullet)
- Bryant Punsalan
- Rodericko "Olsen" Racela (Rah-Rah)
- Ferdinand "Bong" Ravena
- Zaldy Realubit
- Edmund Reyes
- Elmer Reyes
- Joey Santamaria
- Rodney Santos
- Genesis "Donking" Sasuman
- Alvarado Segova
- Andy Seigle
- Alfonso "Al" Solis
- Bong Solomon
- Jun Tan
- Ulysses Tanigue
- Edgar "Jack" Tanuan (RIP)
- Eugene Tejada
- Richie Ticzon
- Naning Valenciano
- Manny Victorino
- Jose Bernardo "JB" Yango
- Harold Arcenaux
- Derrick "Flight 32" Brown
- Marquin Chandler
- Lenny Cooke
- Eddie Elisma
- Jojo English
- Ronnie Grandison
- "Sugar" Ray Hall
- Richard Hollis
- Darryl Johnson
- Mike Jones
- Jessie King
- Kurk Lee
- Bob McCann
- Marcus Melvin
- Lance Miller
- Perry Young
- Perry Moss
- Rodney Monroe
- Chris Morris
- Julius Nwosu
- Kelvin Price
- Darren Queenan
- Kenny Redfield
- Rob Rose
- Warren Rosegreen
- Walker Russell
- Dexter Shouse
- Clinton Smith
- Jay Taylor
- Patrick Thompkins
- Ronnie Tompkins
- David Thirdkill
- Cedric Toney
- Kenny Travis
- Jaime Walker
- Leon White
- Kennard Winchester
- David Wood
- 16 Alvin Patrimonio
- 44 Jerry Codiñera (When he was traded to Mobiline, The Purefoods management decided that no Purefoods player will wear no.44 again to pay tribute to Codiñera's contributions to the team.)
- Cris Calilan (1988)
- Ramon Fernandez (1988)
- Baby Dalupan (1989-1990)
- Ely Capacio (1991-1992)
- Chot Reyes (1993-1996)
- Eric Altamirano (1997-1998; 2001-2002)
- Derrick Pumaren (1998-2000)
- Chito Narvasa (1998)
- Ryan Gregorio (2002 (interim); 2003-present)