6 top PBA players in 1986 and where they are now

The year 1986 was also a significant year for Philippine basketball, which was marked by the dominance of two basketball clubs in the Philippine Basketball Association at the time.

That year saw the biggest PBA rivalry since the Toyota-Crispa days in the late 1970’s: Tanduay vs Ginebra.

The Tanduay Rhum Makers boasted of former Crispa players Freddie Hubalde, Padim Israel and ex-Toyota Ramon Fernandez.

Ginebra San Miguel, meanwhile, included several future PBA legends. There was former NBA player Billy Ray Bates, former Toyota player Francis Arnaiz and, of course, the "Big J," Robert Jaworski.

The Rhum Masters ruled two of the three PBA conferences that year (Rainforced and All-Filipino conferences), while the Gin Kings nabbed the crown in the season-ending Open conference. But it was only during the All-Filipino tournament that the two teams met in the finals.

Let’s take a look at some of the most dominating personalities of these two squads that ruled the court in 1986.

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Ramon Fernandez (Tanduay)

Also known as “El Presidente,” he is generally regarded as the best player ever to be produced by the PBA in terms of overall skills.

Before being recruited by Tanduay, he played for the fabled Toyota Comets and Manila Beer. He replaced Guidaben and helped the Rhum Masters win the Rainforced and the All-Filipino titles.

Fernandez claimed his third Most Valuable Player award that year (he won four MVP titles), before the team was disbanded in 1988.

Fernandez transferred to Purefoods then San Miguel before retiring in 1994.

He is now based in Cebu where he manages a vinegar business.

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