Category Archives: Philippine Basketball Association

Don vs Winston (PBA All-Star ’79)

After the 1979 PBA All-Filipino Conference, the four-game All-Star series took place during the third week of July. The Don team were composed of Crispa’s starting five and standouts from Tanduay, U/tex and Great Taste, will go up against the Toyota-powered Winston All-Stars. The winning selection gets P 70,000 and the loser P 30,000.

Their opening match was held at the CYO gymnasium in Davao City. The Dons pulled away by 14 points with seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter on a 13-4 run engineered by Manny Paner, Lim Eng Beng and Atoy Co. Late in the period, the Winstons threatened as Ramon Fernandez, Rudolf Kutch and Francis Arnaiz reeled off six straight points. The count was 121-118 for Don with only 33 seconds left when Atoy Co was fouled by Arnaiz. The Fortune Cookie made both of his free throws which turn out to be the final count, a 123-118 win for Don.

Game two was set in Cebu City. Caloy Loyzaga took over from regular Don coach Baby Dalupan. The Dons had an easier time winning 141-128 as Abet Guidaben pumped in a game high 29 points and hauled down 22 rebounds.

It seemed a lost cause for Winston coach Fort Acuna as the two teams return to Manila in the final two games. Before a fair-sized crowd at the Big Dome that braved the weather to watch the All-Star PBA, the Winstons lost anew, 123-130. The Dons’ series count now stood at 394 points against Winstons’ 369 points. A 25-point lead by the three-time winners.


Four movie stars played in a two-on-two competition to spiced up the P 100,000 Don vs Winston All-Star rumble at the Araneta Coliseum. The winning pair of Janet Bordon and Alma Moreno, wearing the colors of Smirnoff Vodka, gets P 20,000. The losing pair of Beth Bautista and Amy Austria, wearing Terry Brandy, gets P 10,000.

The next night, the last day of the series, when a fired-up Winston selection led by Robert Jaworski went out on six fouls and Fernandez was unable to get back into the game after the first half because of a chill, the Winstons settled for a 10-point victory, 138-128.

The series closed out with a cumulative count of 522 points for the winner Don against the 507 of Winston. A 15-point decision by the Don All-Stars.


Credits: PBA Archives’ facebook account and the above photo from the PBA groups, Toyota and Crispa, P.B.A legends and All-time PBA greats.


1978 PBA Invitational Championship (Part 2)

Now on to the 1978 PBA Invitational finals between defending champion Toyota Tamaraws and first-time finalist Tanduay Esquires. The best-of-five title series as follows:

Game One on December 7 – The match was close for three quarters until the Tamaraws broke away from a 109-all deadlock with a 14-4 run to lead by ten, 123-113, with less than four minutes to go in the final period. Toyota won, 129-123, with Francis Arnaiz topscoring with 31 points and Bruce “Sky” King added 29.


Toyota remains unbeaten by winning Game one, newspaper clippings taken from the National Library of the Philippines.

Game Two on December 9 – Tanduay surprisingly won in a low-scoring game, 92-80. The Esquires led by 15 early in the third quarter, 54-39, a 24-10 counter offensive by Toyota, led by Francis Arnaiz, put them back in the ballgame and were down by only one, 63-64. The Tamaraws played bad all throughout and had an off-night as pointed out by rookie coach Fort Acuna.


Tanduay takes Game two of the best-of-five title series.

Game Three on December 12 – Toyota led by 22 points early, but lost it and Tanduay even grabbed the upperhand in the third quarter. The Esquires led for the last time at 82-81, before a 6-0 run by the Tamaraws, anchored by Ramon Fernandez and Sky King, gave them an 87-82 lead. Toyota outscored Tanduay, 32-26 in the final quarter to win, 128-118, and a 2-1 series lead. Carlos Terry scored 41 points for the Tamaraws, four others scored in double figures for Toyota with Fernandez hitting 28 points, Sky King with 19 and Jaworski and Arnaiz with 18 points apiece. Gene Moore of Tanduay tied Terry’s output by scoring 41 points as well.

Game Four on December 14 – The defending champions Toyota retains the Invitational crown as they took control of the game right from the opening tip-off. The Tamaraws led by 21 after three quarters, 83-62. The Esquires did manage to narrow the gap to ten, 77-87 in the fourth quarter, behind Gene Moore, David Payne and Ricardo Cleofas. Toyota clinch their fifth PBA title in a 108-98 victory and their second championship of the season. Carlos Terry topscored for the Tamaraws with 36 points, followed by Ramon Fernandez with 23 and Sonny Jaworski with 16.

Some Notes:

PBA Annual listings says the winning coach for Toyota in the 1978 Third Conference was Dante Silverio. I think this should be now corrected and that Fort Acuna won two titles for Toyota, unless the Invitational championship the following season was credited to Silverio, who resigned when the finals between Toyota and Crispa was on-going.

Coach Acuna utilizes only 8 men in the last two games of the series, besides the two imports and the big three (Big J, Arnaiz and Fernandez), the other Tamaraws were Abe King, Rino Salazar and Emer Legaspi. In Game 1, Nick Bulaong was fielded in. In Game 2, Estoy Estrada and Jess Sta.Maria did see action.

Crispa scored a 3-0 sweep over U/tex in their battle for third place, winning 107-96, 121-101 and 94-82.

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Posted by on November 17, 2016 in Philippine Basketball Association


1978 PBA Invitational championship (Part 1)

Unlike the previous season where there are two guest foreign squads, the second staging of the PBA Invitational championship in 1978 will feature only the top five teams in the first two conferences. The first part of my blog entry are the single round-robin and how the two finalist; Toyota and Tanduay, made it to the championship. The second part is the best-of-five title series between the two protagonist for the Invitational crown.

The Third Conference of the 1978 PBA season started on November 25. Toyota beat Filmanbank, 131-125, in the first game. Tanduay edges Crispa, 74-73, in the second game which turn out to be the lowest scoring PBA game at that time.

On the third playing date on November 30, Tanduay was 2-0, coming off a win over Filmanbank, and were taking on Toyota Tamaraws in the first game. The match went into overtime as league MVP Sonny Jaworski converted two free throws off a foul by Freddie Webb with no time left, forcing extension at 116-all. Toyota won the game, 126-125. U/tex also scored their second straight win by beating winless Filmanbank in the second game.


Research from the National Library. As the story says here, there was confusion on whether Jaworski had to take free throws because the referee did not rule immediately, the Esquires were forced to return to the hardcourt.

Crispa finally scored their first win in the tournament after two straight losses, beating Filmanbank, 118-109, as the All-Filipino runner-up were shut out and didn’t win a single game. Toyota prevail over U/tex in the battle of unbeaten teams in the nightcap.

On December 5, the last scheduled playing date, the U/tex Wranglers and Tanduay Esquires are tied at 2-1 and will play for the other finals seat. The Toyota Tamaraws are already in the finals for the second time in the season. The Tanduay Esquires finally made it to the championship round by winning over U/tex, 98-92, with both imports Gene Moore and David Payne hitting 20 points each. Toyota completed a four-game sweep in the single round by defeating arch rival and already eliminated Crispa, 109-104, in the second game.


Tanduay is in the PBA finals for the first time in four seasons.

Had U/tex won over Tanduay, it would be fitting to see the two champions in the first two conferences played for the season-ending finale, but the Esquires of coach Caloy Loyzaga had other plans.

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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Philippine Basketball Association


PBA flashback ’87: Remembering Ginebra’s 3rd quarter run vs SMB

On this day 29 years ago on November 10, 1987, only few PBA fans or probably no one remembers this anymore, the Ginebras’ amazing comeback from 20 points down against San Miguel Beer in the third quarter to tie the count with still over two minutes left before the end of the third period. No, this is not one of those articles about Ginebra’s comeback wins. For the record, they fell short and lost this match in the end, 113-129, as the Beermen continued its dominance over their now sister team, (it was around the middle of the year when SMC bought out La Tondena) winning for the 17th time in 19 meetings!

A quick look at this new-found rivalry early on, there wasn’t anything noticable, but fans soon begin to realize that San Miguel (then Magnolia Ice Cream) is fast becoming a “Contra-Pelo” of the league’s most popular squad. After two conferences, the count was 14 to 2 for Magnolia. The Ginebras’ two victories, a 97-91 win in Game two of the battle for third place, they even trailed by 15 points at the start of the fourth period, and a 93-92 overtime victory at the start of the semifinals of the All-Filipino Conference. Magnolia did have close victories over Ginebra as well.

In the third conference with Magnolia, now returning to their old name San Miguel Beer, and Ginebra, clash in the main game on opening night as PBA fans anticipated the first meeting between beermen import Bobby Parks and Ginebra’s Billy Ray Bates, plus the return of “skywalker” Samboy Lim in the regular conference. San Miguel won the match, 123-113. Their second meeting in the eliminations on October 22, the beermen repeated with a 121-115 win. I recall Ginebra came within a point in the last two minutes but folded up anew. It was now 16 to 2 for the beermen.

Now here is the featured game in my blog that I first posted on and taken from the Champ magazine dated November 24, 1987.

In the nightcap of Tuesday’s double-header, San Miguel Beer hoped to reassert its supremacy over Ginebra, the beermen had won all but two in their battles this season.
The Ginebras started cold and this enabled Norman Black’s boys to establish a 22-8 advantage behind the scoring of Bobby Parks and MVP leading candidate Abet Guidaben. The first quarter ended with Ginebras still down by 16, 22-38. (I recall Parks hit a buzzer-beating triple that silence the crowd, Ginebra trailed 10-30, when they narrow the gap to 13 points) 
The pace of the contest did not change as the Soriano ballclub refused to let go of their formidable lead. Just a few seconds before the game clock flashing 1:21, Sonny Jaworski tripped a driving Parks which sent the American on all fours. A deliberate foul was slapped on Jaworski and a brief exchange of words followed between him and Parks. The first half ended with San Miguel still up by 18, 69-51.
With the score standing at 77-57, still for the beermen, Jaworski stole the thunder away from the Americans. He scored 16 straight points for Ginebra, 12 of them coming from three point shots to narrow the gap to 12, 73-85.
Another 14-2 explosion by Ginebra, this time starring Billy Ray Bates, forced the beermen into a standoff, 87-all, 2:40 left in the third. Now, the beermen started going to Parks, who was being guarded by greenhorn Harmon Codinera. Parks made eight of the last 10 points of San Miguel for the quarter which ended at 97-93 for San Miguel.
Parks resumed his good offensive game in the fourth as he teamed up with Guidaben and Yves Dignadice to erect another double-digit advantage, 110-99. It was only Bates doing everything for the Ginebras as they seemed to be all spent up trying to catch up with their younger opponents.
San Miguel Beer’s locals took centerstage in the latter half of the last period, Samboy Lim regained his bearings, capping his last-minute heroics with an unbelievable 35-foot jumper that swished the cords. (yes, I remember that, after Samboy just crossed the midcourt line, he got a pass, turnaround and threw the ball that went in, and the crowd roared, most of whom were headed towards the exits). 
The final score stood at 129-113 for San Miguel Beer.


I think this was the dunk by Bates that tied the count at 87-all, from what I recall seeing on TV.

Why I say this game deserves to be worth remembering? where else can we find a 41-year old living legend scoring his team’s 16 consecutive points in a span when they were making a comeback run, I remember fans at the special ringside seats were all standing when Big J was hitting those treys, also, this was the game the mild-mannered and level-headed Bobby Parks lost his cool when he crashed on the floor on a deliberate foul by Jaworski and Big J was issued a warning for dangerous play. Parks, who was chosen best player of the game, said in an interview that he was already up in the air for a layup and Jaworski kicked his legs, Parks was quoted “Man, this is not basketball.” And as taken from the Champ magazine story, It was on this same game when Abet Guidaben had the ball in the backcourt and Jaworski was harassing him and he suddenly fell to the floor with blood flowing from his right eyebrow. Perhaps to this day, only Big J and Abet knew what had happen on that play.

Yes, this game had all the drama and action, 12 days after on November 22, San Miguel and Ginebra played for the fourth time in the conference. Ginebra finally scored a convincing victory over their sister team, a 143-121 win as Billy Ray Bates tied his personal-best of 71 points he registered in their first outing in the semifinals against Shell two weeks ago.

The scores: (taken from Manila Standard)

San Miguel (129) – Parks 63, Lim 16, Calma 16, Guidaben 13, Dignadice 12, Reyes 7, Teng 2, Cui 0, Yturri 0.

Ginebra (113) – Bates 54, Jaworski 23, C.Loyzaga 15, Codinera 6, Distrito 5, Isaac 4, Advani 2, Carbonilla 2, Gonzalgo 2, Ducut 0.

Quarterscores: 38-22, 69-51, 97-93, 129-113


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Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Philippine Basketball Association


1977 PBA Invitationals: How the two finalist fared against the other teams

As a follow up to my blog entry Toyota vs Emtex Sacronels, the two teams that played in the finals of the 1977 PBA Third Conference Invitational Championship, let’s now talk about how the two finalist made it to the championship round.

The Toyota Tamaraws started off with a whooping 167-134 win over Presto Ice Cream on December 1, as Bruce “Sky” King erased the previous individual scoring high of 64 set by Danny Florencio of Seven-Up with a 72-point explosion. The Tams also made a record with the highest winning score for the season. After Presto, the Tamaraws scored their second win against Tanduay, 122-114. The Esquires upset the Aussie Panthers, 94-85, on opening day on November 30.

Toyota took on arch rivals Crispa on the next day and won by nine points, 118-109, with Sky King and John Irving combining for 61 points and Francis Arnaiz piled up 29 points. For their fourth victim, the Tamaraws defeated Open Conference runner-up U/tex, 131-114. Win number five came against the Mariwasa Hondas with the Tams pulling off a 143-139 overtime win. As in my previous blog, the Tamaraws split their last two meetings against the two foreign entries, losing to Emtex of Brazil for their first loss in the tournament and winning over Aussie Panthers to wrapped up their first trip to the finals since December of ’76.

The Emtex Sacronels or Palmeiras, the visiting Brazilian ballclub, were up against the Presto Ice Cream in their first Manila appearance and they lost, 128-133, luckily for the Brazilians, they were earlier declared winners by default as a consequence of Presto’s failure to field a completely uniformed team by gametime.

In their second game with 30,000 fans on hand at the Big Dome to watch Crispa vs Toyota in the nightcap, the Brazilians won by 11 points over the other foreign outfit from Australia, 111-100. U/tex and Mariwasa, the two teams which finished second in the two previous conference, fell to the boys from Brazil, the Sacronels toppled the Wranglers, 108-101, and rout the Hondas, 150-118. The next day, they whipped Tanduay, 111-100, to tie the Tamaraws with five straight victories.

The Brazilians completed a seven-game, elimination round sweep by defeating Crispa, 106-99, on the final playing date on December 13. The Redmanizers, whose string of six straight titles, were finally dethroned as champions when Toyota earlier won against Ramrod of Australia, thus avoiding any possible playoff match with Crispa if the Redmanizers win against Emtex later that evening.


Oscar Schmidt, Milton Setrini and Ubiratan Maciel


Source: PBA Archives


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Posted by on September 12, 2016 in Philippine Basketball Association


PBA’s early records: The longest and the highest scoring game

On August 17, 1976, the first-ever triple overtime game was played at the Araneta Coliseum between Noritake and Tanduay. This was the only PBA game that was extended three times in the 1970s.

Hubert Filipinas’ jumpshot in the last five seconds of the third overtime gave Noritake a thrilling 153-151 win over Tanduay. In the regulation period, Noritake’s Ulysses Rodriguez was fouled by Quirino Salazar and he sank only his second charity to end the game at 123-123.

Tanduay’s Mike Bilbao debut as a pro in this game and he fouled out with still 1:55 in the first extension. Noritake caught up at 134-all to send the game into a second overtime. The outcome remained undecided after 58 minutes with the score deadlocked at 144-all, making the historic third extension necessary.

Noritake (153) – Rodriguez 25, Cornelius 25, Figuracion 23, Dacula 19, Robinson 19, Sullano 15, Filipinas 11, Adolfo 6, Alcantara 6, Pablo 0, Arriola 0, Reynoso 0.

Tanduay (151) – Hirten 37, Canent 19, Samson 14, Bozeat 14, R.Cleofas 14, Bilbao 13, Delos Santos 13, Gutierrez 12, Webb 9, Salazar 6, Supnet 0, Ijares 0.

Quarterscores: 23-40, 57-67, 98-92, 123-all, 134-all, 144-all, 153-151

Two years after on September 5, 1978, also at the Big Dome, this time a high scoring game took place with the Toyota Tamaraws establishing all-time scoring records (later broken) with the highest score by a winning team, highest halftime score and highest after three quarters, most field goals made in a game with 78 and an assist record of 46.

Chino Marquinez, team manager of Great Taste, had reported that coach Nilo Verona had resigned due to pressure of work. That left Great Taste coachless in this game.

Toyota (183) – B.King 35, Terry 29, Fernandez 20, Jaworski 19, Arnaiz 18, Legaspi 16, A.King 13, Estrada 10, Bulaong 9, Javier 6, Salazar 6, Sta.Maria 2.

Great Taste (154) – Collins 46, Oliver 45, Clarino 16, Paner 12, Tolentino 11, Revilla 6, Pribhdas 6, Ritualo 6, Morales 4, Basilan 4.

Quarterscores: 45-31, 93-73, 135-112, 183-154

Notes: Four points were missing on the Noritake players output from a team total of 153. Great Taste had an added two points on the boxscores.



1977 Open: Crispa’s 6th straight PBA title

The 1977 PBA Second Conference, known as Open Conference, had for the first time, six teams will make it to the semifinal round, unlike in the two previous seasons where four teams advances in a two-round semifinals.

The six semifinalists were: Crispa (11-3), Toyota and Tanduay (9-5), U/tex (8-6), Presto and 7-Up (7-7). Eliminated were Royal and Mariwasa-Honda. The Redmanizers, who were looking for their sixth straight championship, had only loss to Toyota, Presto (116-118) and Tanduay (112-113) in the eliminations, all in the second round.

The semifinal round started on October 27, 1977 and after the first round, the league’s surprise team was U/tex, which finish with a perfect 5-0 card, defeating Crispa on opening day, 92-80 on October 27, Toyota, 133-128 in overtime on October 29, Seven-Up, 96-92 on November 4, Presto, 112-105 on November 5, and Tanduay, 124-118 in double overtime on November 6. Crispa, which started on a wrong foot, losing to U/tex, bounces back with a 120-97 win over Presto on October 29, lost to Seven-Up, 120-121 on October 31, defeated arch rival Toyota, 121-116 on November 4, and Tanduay, 105-98 in the following day, for a 3-2 record, tied with Toyota. The scores in the Tamaraws’ three victories; 113-105 over Tanduay on October 27, 136-121 over Seven-Up on November 5, the night Danny Florencio break the previous single-game high of 59 set by Jun Papa of Mariwasa, by scoring 64 points for the Uncolas while Robert Jaworski of Toyota had his personal-best of 39 points, and 131-120 win over Presto on the next day on November 6.

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The November 6 result on Balita newspaper

After the two-round semifinals, the U/tex Wranglers advances to the finals for the first time in their franchise history, finishing on top of the standings at 8-2, with both losses, to Toyota, 110-120 on November 8, and Crispa, 84-86 on November 10. The Redmanizers and the Tamaraws, tied at second with a 7-3 won-loss slates, would go on to play in a knockout game. Crispa won the playoff match, 90-87, for the right to play U/tex for the Open Conference crown.

In their finals match-up, Crispa was 3-1 over U/tex in their four previous meetings, winning twice in the eliminations by low scores, 87-85 and 98-97. The best-of-five finals series saw the Redmanizers, which only had Cyrus Mann as their import going up against the Wranglers’ pair of Byron “Snake” Jones and Charles Neal, nearly went down 0-2 in the series, after losing Game one, 105-113, the Redmanizers had to come-from-behind to beat U/tex in the second game, 103-101, on Cyrus Mann’ tipped-in at the buzzer, on a follow-up after Atoy Co missed a long jumper in the last two seconds. (often referred as the longest two seconds in the PBA)

The next three games of the series were very close, with Crispa taking Game three, 79-76, and U/tex forcing a deciding fifth game with a 92-89 win in Game four.  The last game of the championship took place on November 29, the Wranglers of coach Tommy Manotoc, battled back from 12 points down early in the third quarter and held the Redmanizers to 11 deadlocks and similar number of lead changes. The last 10 seconds of the game saw Cyrus Mann sank the second of his two free throws off a foul from Snake Jones, to give Crispa a 90-87 edge. On the next play, Roy Deles fished a foul from Philip Cezar on a jump shot attempt from the side, with only five seconds left. Deles made his first free throw and coach Manotoc called for time, Deles intentionally missed his second and Jones won the rebound and got off a shot which could give the Wranglers a chance to send the game into overtime, but Jones’ desperation shot had too much spin and bounced against the boards and into the hands of Mann, who rushed in for the rebound as the buzzer sounded.

Crispa coach Baby Dalupan, who won his sixth straight PBA title, considers the victory as the Redmanizers’ toughest championship. Atoy Co topscored for Crispa with 25 points, followed by Mann with 16. For U/tex, Byron Jones had 35 points and Lim Eng Beng with 19.

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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in Philippine Basketball Association