Red Bull Barako

Red Bull Barako

:"This article is about the basketball team. "Red Bull Barako" also refers to a coffee drink. For other use of "Red Bull", see Red Bull (disambiguation)."Infobox PBA team
name=Red Bull Barako
logo=Red Bull Barako logo.gif
history=Batang Red Bull Energy Kings
Batang Red Bull Thunder
Red Bull Barako
The Bulls (alternate monicker)
colors=Red, yellow and white
company=Photokina Marketing Corp.
coach=Yeng Guiao
titles=PBL: 1 (1996 All-Filipino)
PBA: 3 (2001 Commissioner's, 2002 Commissioner's, 2005-06 Fiesta)
pattern l=_leftredsiderightblackside|body l=ffffff|shorts l=ffffff|title l=Light uniform
pattern d=_leftredsiderightblackside|body d=ff0000|shorts d=ff0000|title d=Dark uniform|

Red Bull Barako is a professional team of the Philippine Basketball Association which entered the league in 2000. It was a part of the semi-professional Philippine Basketball League in the late 1990s where it won several championships.

Red Bull has won two Commissioner's Cups, in 2001 and in 2002 and the 2006 Fiesta Conference. Willie Miller became the first Barako to win the league MVP title in 2002.


Philippine Basketball League

Photokina Marketing joined the Philippine Basketball League during the mid-90's. They played under the name Agfa Color in the early days of their PBL stint. Once, they had San Miguel player Danny Ildefonso as one of their players along with his NU Bulldogs teammate Lordy Tugade and Jonas Mariano coming back from a knee injury with Ginebra the year before.

It also saw the talent of Cebuanos Jimwell Torion and Junthy Valenzuela along with other provincial cagers Rene Suba and Jun Carmona. Letran star Kerby Raymundo and Filipino-American Davonn Harp later joined the squad.

Agfa Color/Red Bull would always fall short of a title as Tanduay won several PBL championships at their expense. In 1999, they were among the best teams in the league but would lose to Welcoat Paints in the finals of Challenge Cup. In October, the PBA announced that Red Bull was accepted as the 10th member of the league beginning in the 2000 season.

2000: First season

The franchise played their first PBA season as the Batang Red Bull Energy Kings. Red Bull was allowed to take six players from their PBL team and took Kerby Raymundo, Davonn Harp, Lordy Tugade, Jimwell Torion, Junthy Valenzuela and Bernard Tanpua. PBL Commissioner Yeng Guiao, a former PBA coach, resigned his post to join Red Bull as coach in the PBA. They also got Ato Agustin from the expansion pool.

After losing their opening game to Barangay Ginebra Kings, they won two more games to improve to 2-3. But, the league disqualified Raymundo from playing. It was discovered that he had falsified his documents, claiming he graduated from high school in 1996, when actually he finished his secondary studies a year later. Mick Pennisi also arrived as a solution to the team's lack of height. The games won by the Energy Kings were nullified. Red Bull finished 10th and failed to enter the quarterfinals.

In the Commissioners Cup, Jack Hartman became Red Bull's first import but failed to show anything promising for Batang Red Bull which failed to enter the quarters once again. Before the end of the tournament, the Energy Kings get Raymund Tutt as replacement. Tutt scored 56 points in his PBA debut, which still stands today as the high points scored by a Red Bull player in a single game.

Tutt returned for the Governors Cup, and the renamed Thunder made a strong showing to finish in third place at the end of the tournament, their first trophy in the league. Davonn Harp was named Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.

2001-2002: Championship years

During the Rookie Draft, Red Bull selected former Letran Knight and MBA star Willie Miller as its first overall pick. Former Letranite Kerby Raymundo also was allowed to return for Red Bull for the upcoming season.

In 2001, Red Bull finished seventh in the All-Filipino Conference and met eventual champion San Miguel Beermen in the quarterfinals. With the Thunder needing to win twice to advance to the semis, Batang Red Bull shocked the Beermen winning the first game by double-figures, but lost in the deciding game capped off by Danny Seigle's three-pointer to seal SMB's win.

Former Duke University and NBA standout Antonio Lang bannered the Thunder in the Commissioners Cup. After a sub-par performance in the tournament opener, Lang proved to be the right import for Red Bull. The Thunder advanced to their first finals appearance against the mighty San Miguel Beermen. Red Bull took the first two games of the series behind strong performances by Lang and Harp. The Beermen later tied the series at 2-2 which saw a physically intense battle that saw several suspensions on the Red Bull side. But in Game five, Red Bull won 79-77 after a potential game-tying basket by San Miguel import Kwan Johnson was blocked from behind by Miller with no time left. In Game six, Lang recovered from a four point outing in Game five to lead Red Bull to their first PBA championship. Lang was also named as Best Import of the Commissioners Cup.

In the Governors Cup, Tutt returned for the team in hopes of claiming back-to-back title, but the Thunder was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Harp was loaned by Red Bull to the national team in 2002. The Thunder was eliminated by eventual champion Purefoods in the quarterfinals.

In the Commissioners Cup, Harp returned for Batang Red Bull along with Antonio Lang and Julius Nwosu. The Thunder dominated the tournament, eliminating Shell in the quarterfinals and the Beermen in the semis to face the Talk N' Text Phone Pals in the finals. Four games into the series, Lang was replaced by another NBA veteran in Sean Lampley. Lang was even accused of game-fixing, which he denied. With Lampley, Red Bull overcame a 2-3 deficit to win an emotional Game seven for their second PBA title.

Red Bull's hope for a second title was denied in the All-Filipino as Alaska booted them out in the semis.

2003: Post-championship

In 2003, The Thunder used their first round pick to select 2002 UAAP MVP Enrico Villanueva from Ateneo de Manila to bolster Red Bull's frontline. Red Bull went 10-1 in the early goings of the All-Filipino Cup before finishing with a 14-4 record. However, their 0-3 record in the quarterfinals eliminated them from title contention. The All-Filipino also saw the suspensions of Harp and Torion for testing positive for taking illegal substances.

Batang Red Bull renamed the team as Red Bull Barako for the Invitational tournament. They managed to enter the semis but was defeated by Alaska in a one-game showdown.

After a 1-2 start in the Reinforced, the Barakos hired former Charlotte Hornet and Chicago Bull Scott Burrell as import. Red Bull won 10 games to finish with a 11-2 record entering the quarterfinals. They were upset by Talk N Text in the opening round. But the deciding game was marred by a vicious clothesline of Torion on Phone Pals' point guard Jimmy Alapag. The incident gave Torion an eight-month suspension, later reduced to only four.

2004-05: Rebuilding

Red Bull made its third Finals appearance in 2004, losing to eventual champion Barangay Ginebra in the transitional tournament dubbed as the Fiesta Conference. The Barakos fielded in six imports during the said conference but its last import Victor Thomas won Best Import honors.

During the 2004-2005 Philippine Cup, Red Bull was decimated with the departures of alleged Fil-Shams (Filipino-Americans that did not prove their Filipino blood) Mick Pennisi and Davonn Harp, who were deported after the Department of Justice found them to have falsified their documents.

But the event paved the way for guys like Tugade, Valenzuela and Enrico Villanueva to shine as Red Bull recovered to place fourth in the 2005 Fiesta Cup. The former Ateneo center won the Most Improved Player honors.

2005-06: Back-to-back finals appearances

Red Bull became somewhat of a flashback to the Ateneo Blue Eagles squad of UAAP 2002 when Larry Fonacier and Paolo Bugia were drafted by the team in the second round of the PBA Draft in August.

The Bulls won their third PBA title during the 2005-06 PBA Fiesta Conference defeating the Purefoods Chunkee Giants in six games. Enrico Villanueva won the Best Player of the Conference honors while Lordy Tugade was named as the Finals MVP.

During their title run, the Bulls replaced import Quemont Greer in place of a more team-oriented James Penny at the start of the quarterfinals. Red Bull swept Alaska in the quarterfinals while surviving a seven-game tussle with crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra Kings in the semi-finals.

The championship gave Yeng Guiao his fifth PBA title, tying former Toyota mentor Dante Silverio for sixth on the all-time PBA list.

Before the Philippine Cup, Red Bull acquired the services of another former Atenean, Rich Alvarez, from Alaska. While the Bulls were highly favored to win the title, they started the tournament with a 3-6 record. However, they won six of their final seven games to finish with a 9-7 win-loss card in the classification phase, clinching an outright quarterfinals berth.

Red Bull survived a five-game clash with rival Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals. This was after the crowd-favorite Kings led the series 2-1, but the Bulls won the last two games by a combined margin of more than 50 points. The Bulls faced the San Miguel Beermen in the semifinals when controversy struck the Bulls, after they staged a mini-walkout during Game Four of their series. They eventually returned to the court and lost by double figures. This led to a 400,000 peso fine on the team, 100,000 on head coach Yeng Guiao, 6,000 for player Lordy Tugade and 1,000 for a member of the team's personnel.

However, Red Bull managed to beat San Miguel Beer in seven games after a buzzer-beating shot by Junthy Valenzuela to seal a two-point victory for the Bulls, setting up a rematch of the Fiesta Conference finals series against Purefoods. The Bulls, though, lost to Purefoods in six games, denying them of a chance to sweep all championships in the 2005-06 season. Larry Fonacier was named as the 2005-06 PBA Rookie of the Year with Villanueva named to the Mythical Five selection.

2006-07 season: Semifinal eliminations

The Bulls had only one pick in the 2006 PBA Draft and selected Ateneo shooting guard Magnum Membrere with the 19th overall pick. The move triggered another addition to the team's dominant lineup of former players from the Blue Eagles lineup. In the middle of the elimination round, Red Bull traded 2005-2006 Fiesta Cup Finals MVP Lordy Tugade to the San Miguel Beermen alongside reserve Omanzie Rodriguez in exchange for future draft picks.

The Barakos also added former Shell Turbo Charger Carlo Sharma into their line-up during the off-season. The addition of Sharma gave the Barakos, who only has main man Enrico Villanueva as its legitimate low-post threat, additional ceiling and inside presence.

In the Philippine Cup, Red Bull placed third after the elimination round with a 11-7 win-loss card and an outright quarterfinals berth in which they defeated the Sta Lucia Realtors, 3-1. In the semifinals, Red Bull lost against the San Miguel in seven games that highlighted by several physical encounters by both teams during the series.

Red Bull gained the top seed in the Fiesta Conference but dealt Enrico Villanueva to San Miguel Beermen for Rommel Adducul. The former MBA MVP was later shipped to the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants and exchange for Don Camaso and a 2008 Second Round Draft Pick.

Despite the strong performance of Larry Fonacier and the emergence of Cyrus Baguio, Red Bull lost to Talk 'N Text led by the strong performance of Mark Cardona in a six-game series.

Current roster

Current depth chart

Players of note

PBA's 25th anniversary all-time team

*Ato Agustin - one of few players selected from the expansion draft in 2000; played from 2000-2001
*Vergel Meneses - played for Red Bull in the 2004-05 season

Other notable players

*Nelson Asaytono - played for Red Bull from 2002-2006
*Lowell Briones - played in 2001
*Glen Capacio - one of few players selected from the expansion draft in 2000; played in the 2000 season. Current Head Coach of the FEU Tamaraws in the UAAP
*Larry Fonacier - played for team from 2005-2007; 2005-2006 Rookie of the Year; Traded to San Miguel, now plays for the Alaska Aces
*Davonn Harp - selected from the PBL squad; played for team from 2000-2004 before leaving the country due to citizenship issues
*Noli Locsin - played for Red Bull in 2002
*Willie Miller - the first, and currently only player to be selected first overall in the draft by franchise history; played from 2001-2003 and won the 2002 PBA Most Valuable Player Award. Now plays for the Alaska Aces
*Kerby Raymundo - selected from the PBL squad; played for team from 2000-2001. Currently playing for purefoods
*Lordy Tugade - part of the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference champion team where he was awarded the Finals MVP. currently playing for Magnolia
*Jimwell Torion - selected from the PBL squad; played for team from 2000-2006
*Enrico Villanueva - played for team from 2003-2007; won Best Player of the Conference and Most Improved player honors during his Red Bull stint. Currently playing for Purefoods
*Vince Hizon - played in 2001
*Ato Agustin - first team captain of the team when they made it's debut in the PBA
*Junthy Valenzuela - the first, and currently only player to be selected first overall in the draft by franchise history; played from 2000-2008 plays for the Barangay Ginebra Kings


*Thaddeus Delaney - franchise's first-ever import in the 2000 Commissioners Cup
*Jack Hartmann - franchise's import in the 2000 Commissioners Cup
*Raymund Tutt - played for Red Bull in 2000 and 2001 seasons; holds franchise record of 56 points in one game
*Antonio Lang - played for Red Bull in 2001 and 2002 seasons; led Red Bull to the 2001 Commissioners Cup titles and was named as the Best Import of the said tournament
*Joseph Bunn - played for Red Bull in 2002
*Julius Nwosu - played for Red Bull in 2002; leading the team to the 2002 Commissioners Cup title
*Sean Lampley - played for Red Bull in 2002; leading the team to the 2002 Commissioners Cup title
*Scott Burrell - played for Red Bull in 2003; led the team to 10th straight wins upon his arrival
*Victor Thomas - played for Red Bull in 2004; named Best Import of the 2004 Fiesta Conference
*Dalron Johnson - played for Red Bull in the 2005 Fiesta Conference
*Earl Barron - played for Red Bull in the 2005 Fiesta Conference before joining the Miami Heat in the 2005-06 season
*Quemont Greer - played for Red Bull in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference
*James Penny - replaced Greer in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference, leading the team to the title
*Adam Parada - played for Red Bull in the 2008 PBA Fiesta Conference


*Jimmy Mariano (PBL)
*Nat Canson (PBL)
*Gil Lumberio (PBL)
*Yeng Guiao (2000-Present)

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