The Laguna Lakers
(or the FedEx-Laguna Lakers
) was a former professional basketball team in the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association
from 1998-2001. The team was owned by Bert Lina, owner of the Federal Express
franchise in the Philippines. The team moniker was taken as a reference for the province's numerous lakes, a similar action taken by the then-Minneapolis Lakers
of the National Basketball Association
. The team played its home games at the San Luis Sports Complex.
In 1998, the Metropolitan Basketball Association was formed as a regional-based professional league which also challenged the commercial Philippine Basketball Association
. The Lakers were paraded by former University of Manila
stars Biboy Simon and Jovy Sese, Manuel Luis Quezon University standout Wynne Arboleda and the high-flying Mike Garcia, known for wearing different shoe colors and his dunks.
The Lakers went 14-8 in the inaugural year but failed to enter the Northern Conference Finals. Simon recorded an MBA record 54 points in one game, which remained until the league's closure. In 1999, the Lakers went 16-14 in the elimination round and made the playoffs for the second straight year. The team added fil-Americans Cris Clay and Rudy Hatfield to bolster their lineup. However, Laguna was eliminated by the Pampanga Dragons
, in a hard-fought three-game Wildcard series which saw Dragons point guard Roel Bravo hitting a three-pointer to give Pampanga the win.
In 2000, Laguna made its only... Read More