Sydman’s Side Defect: Shell 30

March 17, 2012 by  

There is a Top 50 version of this blog and you can see this at!

I remember during the 90’s whenever Shell played in Ultra or at the Cuneta Astrodome, a band will belt out a tune of “Get out off your feet… get into my car”… or something.

It was an awesome song and an awesome soundtrack for the team’s spirited attack.

Call them Rimula, Velocity, Zoom Masters, Turbo Chargers, or hell… even Bug Busters, the Shell franchise left an important mark in the PBA. In 1013 games, their win-loss records stand at 436 wins and 577 losses.

Shell actually traces its roots at the start of the PBA when the legendary Crispa Redmanizers were hoarding the titles. Crispa had a ton of experience playing in gut-wrenching ballgames but it was not enough to save the franchise. In 1984, they sold their franchise to Shell and in 1985 they competed in their first season. Retained from the legendary Crispa lineup were Philip “The Scholar” Cezar, Bai Cristobal, and Bernie “The Sultan of Swipe” Fabiosa. After severing his ties with his original PBA team, Bogs Adornado re-joined his former teammates to give the squad veteran smarts. In the future, Freddie Hubalde and Abet Guidaben will play for the squad. Among the six legendary Crispa Redmanizers, all but Atoy Co will play for Shell.

The team produced four top picks including the first-ever draft pick in Sonny Cabatu. Other picks include Benjie Paras, Danny Ildefonso, and Richard Alvarez. Ildefonso was eventually traded to San Miguel to acquire the services of Noy Castillo plus cash considerations. Cabatu’s batchmate, Leo Austria, was the league’s first Rookie of the Year that came from the draft.

And of course, Benjie Paras is the first and only player to win the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player trophies in the same season.

Actually, Paras is the only player to score a MVP trophy while playing for Shell… and he had two.

1989 – 2001
Surprising no one, the Tower of Power is the top Shell player of all-time. For starters, he was and still is the face of the franchise. Despite his injuries, he dominated the inside especially during the late 80’s and late 90’s. And yeah, he is the only PBA player to win the Most Valuable Player award in his rookie year (Bogs Adornado has already played pro ball in MICAA). Aside from the obvious accolades, Paras is the only Turbo Charger to win the MVP award and he achieved this feat in two separate occasions. And to milk this MVP recognition for the last time, he had the farthest gap in winning his MVP plums with a decade in contrast. Shell was able to win all four of their championships with Paras on board. Paras holds most of the franchise records including most points, rebounds, field goals, and blocks.

In the 1989 draft class, Shell could have done well if they picked up Nelson Asaytono or Danny Francisco as their top pick (if his heart condition didn’t get on the way) but it was clear that Paras will get the nod especially since the management thought this is a chance for Benjie to re-align himself with bosom buddy Ronnie Magsanoc. Definitely the selection of Benjie Paras is the best decision they did in their PBA history.

1988 – 97
The Point Laureate was selected by Shell in the 1988 PBA Draft. Despite having Leo Austria on board, Shell decided to acquire him because he is the best player left in the draft (Jack Tanuan was the top pick) and Al Solis was just acquired by expansion team Purefoods. Magsanoc proved to be a goldmine for Shell because he can orchestrate the offense well and at the same time, can score at will on all angles. I guess most of his opponents would cringe whenever the barker explodes “Magsanoc Three Points”. His role would further get cemented with Shell’s acquisition of his former San Beda, UP, and national squad teammate Benjie Paras. If Paras was the engine, then Magsanoc was the navigator. These two epitomized the Mutt and Jeff combo in Philippine basketball. In his ten years with the team, Magsanoc earned a spot in the Mythical Five once and in the Mythical Ten thrice. He also led the team to six finals appearances where they won two.

1987 – 97; 1999
Arguably the best PBA import of all-time (at least in my book, contending with Norman Black), Bobby Parks was to Shell just like what Sean Chambers was to Alaska. Starting his PBA career with San Miguel, he switched his allegiance to Shell and it was like a match made in heaven. The triumvirate of Parks, Benjie Paras, and Ronnie Magsanoc were almost unstoppable and had a bunch of titles and finals appearances to boast. Of the seven Best Import titles Parks held, six of those came via Shell. He was also one of two players (aside from Billy Ray Bates in Crispa) to sweep all Best Import titles in a season. Parks placed second in the all-time mark for points and rebounds (held by Black) and ranked first in the all-time mark for assists and free throw percentage. And to finish this trivia-fest, Bobby Parks had a coaching stint with Shell during the 1990 season.

1995 – 99
He was selected by Ginebra in the 1993 Draft but was immediately sent to Pepsi for Manny Victorino. Then he was sent to San Miguel for Alvin Teng but barely a season in SMB he was traded to Shell for Bong Alvarez and Frankie Lim. With no doubt, Pablo raised his game as a member of the franchise – stepping up consistently especially with the various injuries Benjie Paras suffered. This was the team that first hailed him as “The Conqueror”. His game was almost as spectacular as Alvin Patrimonio at one point. In his five-year run with Shell, Pablo scored a Mythical Second Team in 1998 and a Mythical Five spot in 1999.

1998 – 2005
Jackson arrived in the league with high expectations. But while Jackson can play all five positions and was a very accomplished defender, he was not a big game scorer. He was determined however to transform his strengths to greater heights. Jackson was an integral cog in Shell’s title run in the late 90’s and as the years go, Stonewall Jackson has added the three-point shot in his arsenal. He booked a spot in the All-Defensive Team for a second-best record of five straight times (record held by Jerry Codinera) and won the Defensive Player of the Year honors three times in his stay with Shell. Because of his defense, he was often called to represent the Philippine Team. When Shell disbanded, he retired altogether because he came to the league almost aged 30.

1998 – 2002
Gerry Esplana’s entry to the team marked the end of Ronnie Magsanoc’s decade-long tenure. While it was odd to see Magsanoc donning the Sta. Lucia get-up (after a few seasons he will wear the Purefoods’ colors), Esplana’s stellar performance made it up for the Shell fans. Esplana got the tag “Mr. Cool” because of the vicious bombs he usually unleashed in crunch time. During Shell’s late 90’s title run, he was a force – with the 1990 Top Rookie winning the Finals MVP plum in the 1999 All-Filipino Finals. Esplana retired in 2002 because of injuries but lingered a comeback up until the team’s disbandment.

2000 – 05
TDC started his PBA campaign in 2000 with a measly 4.0ppg and 2.9rpg in 16 games and 17.1mpg. For a direct hire, he was not what the doctor offered for Shell. But you know what – TDC persevered and in 2003, his averages ballooned to 14.5ppg and 6.7rpg in 33.4mpg. The hardworking combo forward finished Shell’s campaign on a strong note as he averaged 16.0ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.6apg, and 0.9spg in 36.6mpg and 71 games. The 2004-05 PBA season gave TDC a Mythical Ten citation and a National Team nod. Afterwards TDC was sent to Alaska after Shell’s departure.

1985 – 91
Now known for his coaching prowess, he was the face of Shell before the triumvirate of Parks, Paras, and Magsanoc came into the fray. He was the last of the original squad to go, playing for the team for its first seven seasons. He can shoot long toms and spot the open man and at the same time, he was not a liability on the defensive end. He was the first player to win Rookie of the Year honors after the PBA Draft was institutionalized. It was also fitting to see that Shell started and finished its PBA career with him on board since he was the last Shell coach.

1995 – 2005
Starting his career with Ginebra, the former 1994 PBA Draft fourth round pick (number 25) was a spirited defender that pushed the right buttons to tick off the opponent’s top SG or import in ten of his eleven seasons. There was a time that Marzan was known for his three-point shots. Porfirio Marzan was not the best of players but “The Phantom” was the perfect definition of a role player. Now how can a role player beat out a bunch of Hall of Famers? Because it’s not a Greatest Players list… it’s a Greatest Shell Players list.

1985 – 86
He is the only 3-time MVP in the PBA (because Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio had four) and after years of distancing himself from Crispa, he re-joined Cezar and Bernie Fabiosa in the Redmanizers’ successor. Before playing out his remaining years with Alaska, he played two seasons with Shell where he won a Mythical Five selection in 1985.

1985 – 86
A holdover from the former Crispa Redmanizers’ franchise, The Scholar gave this expansion squad a fighting chance in the two seasons he played for them. In their inaugural season in 1985, Cezar was part of the Mythical Second Team. He’s definitely the reason why Sonny Cabatu had a poor showing in his rookie season.

1989 – 93
He was taken by Ginebra in the 1989 Draft but when both parties couldn’t agree on an offer, he was traded to Shell for Rey Cuenco. Anyway, he was initially a power forward but he was too small for the role in the PBA. Luckily for him, he had the strength and speed to contend with the slasher spots. He was kind of like Rey Evangelista but with more offense. For five seasons, he bolstered Shell, ultimately helping the team in the 1992 First Conference title.

1987 – 89; 1992 – 93
This late great was the top pick of 1986. He came to Shell when Alaska swapped him for Bogs Adornado. Cuenco is a slotman armed size and speed. In some ways, he was the the MBA version of Eddie Laure back then. He was the chief inside force during the pre-Paras era. He was traded to Ginebra for the second overall pick that turned out to be Romy Dela Rosa. He had a second stint with Shell in 1992 totaling him to five seasons with Shell.

1994 – 95
During Mr. Excitement’s journeyman run, he found himself playing for Shell via a trade that sent Romy Dela Rosa to Sta. Lucia. He made heads turn with his free-flowing style that endeared him to the hearts of the PBA folk. Unfortunately he came to the team when Benjie Paras was halted by injuries and when Bobby Parks was beginning to display wear and tear. He was then traded to San Miguel for Vic Pablo.

1987 – 88
Manny Victorino, Willie Pearson, Pol Herrera, and Jimmy Manansala were traded to Shell from Great Taste in exchange for Philip Cezar, Bernie Fabiosa, and a first round draft pick (I don’t know if this pick turned out to be Allan Caidic). Victorino was a powerhouse in terms of scoring and rebounding but sadly, current coach Ed Ocampo doesn’t want him in his team. Ocampo has dibs on a certain amateur named Benjie Paras.

2000 – 01
When Victor Pablo returned to Pepsi (then known as the Mobiline Phone Pals), they made a three-way trade that sent this former King DLSU Archer to the Turbo Chargers. It was here that Telan realized that he is not just a substitute for Eric Menk – which was what he did during his tenure with Tanduay in the PBL. Telan was named Most Improved Player in 2000.

Just like Bobby Parks, Best was formerly from San Miguel before moving to Shell. Just like Parks, Best was able to give Shell a title. Also again just like Parks, John Best worked for Shell for a lot of seasons and most of these conferences were title-contending ones. In 1998, where most teams are incomplete because of the 1998 Centennial Dream Team, Best alongside Donald Williams gave the then-Zoom Masters a Centennial Cup runner-up trophy and a Governor’s Cup win – both against the Mobiline Phone Pals led by Silas Mills and Tee McClary.

1996 – 98
The former Ateneo star was on the verge of Bustville when he was picked up by Shell. Playing for the injured Ronnie Magsanoc, Ticzon made the best out of the situation to unleash hell via his long bombs. He was known for that super clutch turnaround trey that was heavily replayed at its height. This was the time when he became “Velvet Touch”.

1998 – 99
It’s hard to justify that Shell gave up Danny Ildefonso and the first overall pick for Noy Castillo especially on how their respective careers turned out. However, Castillo played well enough to help Shell win the 1998 Governor’s Cup and the 1999 All-Filipino Cup. Castillo is known for his long-range bombs but the combo guard is also a very smart decision maker.

1992 – 98
Jolly Escobar was selected third by Shell in the 1992 PBA Draft. He was a highly-touted rookie out of the UE Red Warriors who also represented the country in the 1991 Manila SEA Games. In seven seasons, he was a mere compliment/backup for Benjie Paras. He could have been more had not for his injuries.

1989 – 1990
One of the best combo forwards to play in the PBA, the former Toyota standout was on the verge of retirement before Shell came into the picture. While Tuadles’ career eventually went to that direction after two seasons with Shell, his got second wind with the Zoom Masters especially with his former Toyota coach Dante Silverio calling the shots for the squad.

1985 – 86
The Fabulous Bernie Fabiosa found another shot at the title playing for this expansion squad. Shell almost won the 1985 All-Filipino Title had not for Great Taste who was coached by former Crispa mentor Baby Dalupan and headlined by former Crispa star Atoy Co. Nearing the end of his career, he made the most out of his tenure but at this point Leo Austria is to show his potential.

His entry definitely dispatched one local in the list (imports usually do that) but the former Pepsi and Purefoods hotshot was spectacular especially in the 1996 Commissioner’s Cup. With an injured Benjie Paras and a recovering Ronnie Magsanoc, this team almost had a Cinderella finish with this guy on board. Unfortunately for Redfield, this was Alaska’s grand slam year. Try checking out his miraculous halfcourt heave – which is one of the best plays in league history.

2002 – 05
When the former Letran Knight and San Juan Knight thought it was time for him to leave the MBA for the PBA, Shell wasted no chance in grabbing the man dubbed as Hot Hands. In his three years with the Turbo Chargers, Calaguio never averaged less than 9.0ppg. He will also never average more than 9.0ppg after he was sent out of Shell following the team’s disbandment in 2005.

2000 – 03
While Dale Singson had an outstanding UAAP career in UST, he failed to impress people in the PBL. That is why it was an important step for him to have an outstanding MBA career – in which he did for the Iloilo Megavoltz. Shell was perhaps the only team to use Singson’s services to maximum performance. Singson was then traded to San Miguel in what was seen as a swap for Marlon Legazpi.

1985 – 87
Part of FEU’s UAAP Grand Slam squad, Lazaro thought he could give Shell the same. After all, Lazaro had the tools to provide the boost. Known for his inside attacks, he failed to give Shell a championship during his stint with the league. Even so though, he gave the team the inside advantage with his moves before he left the squad for Alaska.

1994 – 96
Fresh from a Sarsi stint, Saldana ascended as a key figure for Shell in the mid-90’s when Benjie Paras was sidelined by injury. For three seasons, he became the team’s defensive gem who’ll crash the boards as well as chip in the putbacks. After his Shell stint, Saldana will help the pretty boys of Ginebra before a stint with the MBA.

1994 – 95
Abet Guidaben chose Shell as the final stop to his great PBA career for a bunch of reasons. The biggest of which is that Abet Guidaben’s talents will be exploited in this squad! It is no secret that Benjie Paras is often-injured and there are moments where Saldana’s hardworking persona is not enough to claim wins.

2003 – 05
Before he became The Fearless, he was The Rocket. Ronald Tubid was Shell’s second round selection in the severely talent-infested 2003 PBA Draft. Tubid averaged 8.9ppg in his rookie year with Shell but upped it with 12.3ppg in Shell’s final season. Teaming up with Chris Calaguio, they made up Shell’s insanely high-octane off-guard rotation. After the disbandment, Tubid was sent to Air21 before going to Ginebra.

1991 – 93
Playing at the tail end of his career, the long-time Alaska bruiser was not the aggressive inside scorer he once was. However, his knack to protect the paint is still evident and in his three years with the Shell, he did just that. The moment he retired in 1993 was the time former Bruise Brother Abet Guidaben donned the Rimula jersey.

Like I said at the top of the article, check out the Top 50 version of this article.


Game over!

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