With high-scoring import Michael Hackett and Billy Ray Bates joining forces in the 1986 PBA Open Conference, all eyes were on Ginebra in its bid to put an end to seven years of futility.
Robert Jaworski, Sr. and Francis Arnaiz got the much-needed help on the local side with the arrival of rookies Dondon Ampalayo and Leo Isaac, Dante Gonzalgo, and the Loyzaga brothers Chito and Joey that season.
The Bates-Hackett import combination lived up to the hype, leading Ginebra to the Finals, where they set up a title duel with Manila Beer, which had a scoring demon of an import in Michael Young teaming up with Harold Keeling.
Although the Brewmasters also had former Crispa stars Abet Guidaben and Atoy Co to add firepower, Manila Beer just couldn’t break through against a spirited Ginebra side.
Hackett, known as the “Mighty Bucket”, took care of the shaded lane, while Bates provided the instant offense on open court and from the perimeter.