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1996 Grand Slam

In the All-Filipino Conference, the Milkmen defeated the Purefoods TJ Hotdogs team of Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codinera in five games. In the series-clincher, Jeffrey Cariaso was fouled in the final second on an inbound play. Cariaso sank both free-throws to seal Alaska’s first All-Filipino Cup crown and championship title of the year.

Their toughest championship series was in the Commissioner’s Cup Finals against quiet but solid Formula Shell team led by Benjie Paras, Victor Pablo, and import Kenny Redfield. Basketball fans were surprised as the series stretched to seven games. After six grueling games, the Milkmen captured the seventh and final game to win their fifth title in their franchise history with Johnny Abarrientos, Jojo Lastimosa and Bong Hawkins leading the team alongside import Sean Chambers, who was then called in to replace Derrick Hamilton midway through the conference. Sean Chambers quickly worked to put himself in the proper physical condition and, despite his height disadvantage, delivered an outstanding performance.

Sean Chambers returned for Alaska in the Governor’s Cup and for the eighth straight time since 1994. Alaska was back in the Finals against crowd-favorite Ginebra San Miguel who ousted sister team San Miguel in the semis. The Conference proved to be a one-sided affair as the Alaska Milkmen went to win the first three games of the series, defeating Ginebra in Game five to capture the feat.

By the end of the 1996 season, Hawkins, Lastimosa and Cariaso were included in the Mythical team while Abarrientos became the smallest man in PBA history to capture the coveted Most Valuable Player award. Jeffery Cariaso was named Rookie of the Year.

Alaska won all three conferences, thus, becoming one of only three teams (along with San Miguel and Crispa) in Philippine basketball history to achieve a grand slam.

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