Perhaps the most heated rivalry in the history of the PBA would belong to crowd darlings Ginebra and Purefoods. Even though the two teams barely figure in playoff encounters against each other, the two franchises have only met in the finals twice, in 1988 and 1997, despite having been together in the league for 24 seasons. The animosity between the teams never seemed to subside.
When did it start? Way back when Jaworski was the champion of the masses, easily the most loved and hated superstar in league history. Then Purefoods entered the PBA in 1988, acquiring Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez from the Tanduay franchise. A teammate of Jaworski for the old Toyota franchise who had major ego collision between them causing fans to take sides in both this enigmatic players, Then as both teams met more, the fans would want more as the physicality and emotions of the game was always to be expected due to the apparent hatred for one another even as sister teams.
Then came Patrimonio, Codinera, and Lastimosa the trinity of young blood with the arrogant aura joining the Purefoods squad. Then the rivalry ensued with fans treating teams as both good and bad depending on which team you are rooting for.
Now all of those players which started the rivalry are gone, but still the rivalry is pretty much alive with Ginebra finding their Jaworski in the Mark “the spark” Caguioa. And Purefoods finding their Fernandez in the man called “big game” James Yap, perhaps both of the most popular superstars in the league not only because of their charisma but also their talent to assert their will into the game to make their respective teams win.
Overall both this teams needed the PBA and the PBA needed both of them as well. Fans who got to watch this rivalry should be happy since it is very special knowing that both teams will die for that ball.