In the 1978 PBA All-Filipino Conference, the four teams which made it to the semifinals were: Toyota Tamaraws, Crispa Redmanizers, Tanduay Esquires and newcomer Filmanbank, which beat U/tex in a playoff to enter the final four.
After the first round of the semifinals, the standings were: Crispa (3-0), Filmanbank (2-1), Toyota (1-2), and Tanduay (0-3), going into the start of the second round on July 1, Toyota beats Filmanbank, 143-124, while Tanduay scored their first win and handed Crispa their first defeat in a 105-102 victory as Freddie Webb scored 34 points.
On July 4, Filmanbank escapes with a 103-101 win over Crispa, while Toyota eliminates Tanduay from the finals race with a 166-147 victory. With three teams tied at 3 wins and 2 losses going into the last playing date on July 6, Filmanbank booked the first finals seat with a 103-93 win over Tanduay. The main game between arch rivals Toyota and the skidding Crispa will turn out to be a sudden-death match for the second finals berth. The Tamaraws, which lost to the Redmanizers, 127-143, in the first round on June 29, won the all-important game, 116-108, to advance into the championship playoffs against sister team Filmanbank.
The 1978 All-Filipino Conference Finals
July 8 – Toyota won Game 1 easily, 141-130, as Robert Jaworski scored 33 points. Billy Robinson led the Bankers with 38 points, followed by Larry Mumar with 30 points.
July 11 – In Game 2, the Toyota Tamaraws again won easy in a high-scoring game, 168-148, for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series and a win away from clinching the title. Francis Arnaiz scored 35 points, followed by Estoy Estrada with 30 points, and Danny Florencio had 29 points. Filmanbank’s Jacinto Chua led all scorers with a night-high 43 big points.
July 13 – Filmanbank avoided a sweep by taking Game 3, 124-117. Billy Robinson topscored for the Bankers with 30 points.
July 15 – With memories of losing to Crispa back in the 1976 Third Conference after taking a 2-0 advantage, the Toyota Tamaraws made sure the championship won’t slip away this time, winning Game 4 and capturing the All-Filipino crown with a 132-113 victory over Filmanbank. Danny Florencio scored 38 points in the title-clinching win.
Photo credits to Robert Jaworski Sr. Official Facebook page.
The third place battle between Tanduay and Crispa ended in a 2-all tie, with the Esquires winning second runner-up honors via superior quotient. Tanduay won Games 1 and 2, 109-97 and 109-107, the Redmanizers take Games 3 and 4, 128-124 and 106-103.
The scoring averages of the players after the double-round eliminations in the 1978 PBA All-Filipino Conference as follows:
Cisco Oliver (Honda) – 37.45 points (11 games)
Lim Eng Beng (U-Tex) – 32.26 points (15 games)
Billy Robinson (Filmanbank) – 29.25 points (8 games)
Danny Florencio (Toyota) – 24.21 points (14 games)
Larry Mumar (Filmanbank) – 23.33 points (15 games)
Fortunato Co, Jr (Crispa) – 22.14 points (14 games)
Ramon Fernandez (Toyota) – 22.07 points (14 games)
Robert Jaworski (Toyota) – 21.5 points (14 games)
Philip Cezar (Crispa) – 21.5 points (14 games)
Manny Paner (Great Taste) – 21.5 points (14 games)
Jaime Manansala (Tanduay) – 20.8 points (11 games)
Valerio Delos Santos (Royal) – 20.2 points (14 games)
*Research from PBA Archives’ facebook account.