1. Acquired Jojo Lastimosa from Purefoods for Elmer Cabahug (1991)
Trading for Jojo Lastimosa in 1991 wasn’t a simple proposition for Alaska. The Milkmen’s best player at the time, Bong Alvarez, played the same position. Besides, Lastimosa had a reputation around the league for being a prima donna, clashing with Purefoods coach Baby Dalupan.
Still, Alaska pulled the trigger on the trade, and it paid off immediate dividends.
Lastimosa never liked Dalupan’s coaching style, which was based on gut feel more than game planning. “Sasabihan ka niya, ‘Bata, magpainit ka na.’ So mag-wa-warmup ako. Tapos hindi naman ako ipapasok,” said Lastimosa. But he was a perfect fit for Alaska’s young coach Tim Cone, who relied more on preparation and scouting, in stark contrast to Dalupan.
In his first season with Alaska, Lastimosa played the best season of his career, leading the league in statistical points before narrowly losing the MVP award to former teammate Alvin Patrimonio. With Alvarez recovering from injury, Lastimosa carried Alaska, which had its finest season in the league until that point, winning the first championship in franchise history in the Third Conference that year.
Cabahug thrived with Purefoods, becoming a star while taking advantage of opportunities created by playing with Patrimonio and Jerry Codinera.
But Lastimosa went on to be part of eight more Alaska championships. And while Johnny Abarrientos and Kenneth Duremdes won MVP honors, it was Lastimosa, the stone-cold fourth quarter assassin, who personified Alaska’s championship machine in the ’90s — he was ruthless, cerebral, and efficient. And he did nothing but win.
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