Monthly Archives: March 2011

Toyota’s 1980 PBA season (Part 2)

Still reeling from ┬áthe infamous “16 seconds” ┬áthat saw U/tex miraculously surviving a four-point deficit in Regulation and winning over Toyota in Overtime.

The Tamaraws got off to a quick start at the Invitational Second Conference by defeating foreign team Adidas/France, 99-92, in what was described by Adidas coach Bill Sweek as “a rugged game featuring the physical plays of Toyota” as Ramon Fernandez almost got into a fight with Adidas’ George Gooden when the Toyota center allegedly spat on him as he was going to the dugout.

Toyota rolled to its second straight win with a 112-107 victory against U/tex, The Tamaraws then plunged down the standings, losing in succession against Nicholas Stoodley/USA, 106-113, Crispa, 109-118, as former Toyota import and now Crispa reinforcement Snake Jones scored 26 points against his former team, and Adidas/France, 100-104.

Not Surprisingly, the Tamaraws went on to win their last three assignments against U/tex, 118-116, Nicholas Stoodley, 122-107, and Crispa, 116-109, to formally barged into the finals of the Invitational Conference. The Living Legend, Sonny Jaworski went on a scoring rampage, putting in scores of 23, 29 and 26 points respectively.

Nicholas Stoodley bagged the first finals slot following a murderous job against Adidas Rubberworld, 103-87, and Toyota, who needed 7 points or more to make it to the finals, did just that in winning over Crispa by a margin of seven points as the score reads 116-109.

The Tamaraws got blanked by Nicholas Stoodley, 2-0, to claim the Invitational Title and the only foreign team to win a PBA title. With former Royal import Larry Pounds burning the hoops and fired a team high 29 points and Kenny Tyler supported him with 26, Stoodley downed the Tamaraws, 120-112, and repeated in the second game of the title series, winning 118-113 as Tyler pumped in 22 points, including a 15-foot jumper with 30 seconds left to preserved the victory.


The Toyota Tamaraws’ 1980 PBA season


The PBA’s first conference in 1980, before one of the biggest crowds ever to attend at the Araneta Coliseum. The inaugural highlights of the play-for-pay league saw Honda fought a gallant Tefilin before winning, 95-94. Also introduced in the season was the three-point shot as later that night, the Big J-led Toyota Tamaraws repulses arch rival Crispa Walk Tall Jeans, 112-107, Sonny Jaworski showed a fine touch from the three-point arc by coming up with three conversions and finish the ballgame with 22 points.

After a memorable opening day, Tefilin shocked basketballdom in its second appearance, downing Crispa Walk Tall, three nights later, it was the turn of Royal Tru Orange, led by Larry Pounds, to lower the boom on the favored Toyota Tamaraws.

May 6, 1980 – Toyota made a then-PBA record 39 assists as Robert Jaworski became the first man to reach the 2,000-assist mark in the Tamaraws’ 129-113 won ballgame against Honda.

Great Taste Discoverers, bannered by shifty imports Jim Hearns and the hulking Lewis Brown was the biggest surprise with the unblemished record of six consecutive victories at the halfway mark of the eliminations. Facing the Toyota Tamaraws with a capacity crowd of 15,000, Toyota buried Great Taste with a 24-point lead sometime in the second period and went on to win, 118-109. It was a double celebration for the Tamaraws as the Big J became the third man in history to score 5,000 points, thus followed the footsteps of Atoy Co and Francis Arnaiz.

On June 12, 1980, Independence Day, an overflow crowd of 32,000 at the Big Dome witnessed Toyota won by a hairline 107-105 victory over Crispa.

Toyota finished their Open Conference campaign toting a 15-3 win-loss slate and became the first team to squeeze into the semifinals, beating Tefilin, 110-104. Joining the Tams were Great Taste, which finishes second, Crispa and U/tex.

In the Semifinals, Toyota won its first two games as Jaworski would convert triples at crunchtime, the Tamaraws scored the last six points in the final 1:34 in a 105-102 victory over U/tex. Against Great Taste, the Tamaraws were down 97-99 with 12 seconds left when the Big J launch a back-breaking three-point shot to seal the ballgame, 100-99, and give Toyota its second consecutive win in the semis.

The U/tex Wranglers, behind the brilliant coaching of Tommy Manotoc and the supporting hands of Adornado, imports Glen McDonald and Aaron James, Lim Eng Beng, Jimmy Noblezada and Fritz Gaston, surprised a lot of people by copping the first finals slot via quotient system as they finished their semis campaign with a 4-2 won-loss slate, similar to the records of Toyota and Crispa.

The Tamaraws and the Jeansmakers dispute the last finals slot and with the Araneta Coliseum bursting to a capacity crowd of 25,000 fans to watch the do-or-die game, Toyota won a classic 102-100 victory over Crispa Walk Tall. The Jeansmakers had a chance to go for the win but Atoy Co missed a hurried three-point attempt.

With the victory, the stage was set for the unexpected championship battle between U/tex and Toyota for the PBA Open Conference crown.