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


The 1987 National Seniors tournament

There were 16 teams that participated in the 1987 edition of the prestigious National Seniors basketball championship that took place from April 21-May 6, 1987.

Group A – Newly-crowned PICAA champion Newton Engineering, Philippine Maritime Institute, PABL ballclub Purefoods, and Meralco, known as MIESCOR, celebrating its return to big time basketball following a 15-year absence.

Group B – PABL’s Magnolia Juice Drinks, NCAA runner up San Sebastian Stags, San Beda and Central Colleges of the Philippines.

Group C – PABL teams Lhuillier-Converse and Sta.Lucia, PICAA All-stars and Metro Manila Colleges.

Group D – NCAA champion Letran Knights, Newly-crowned PABL International Cup champion RFM-Swift’s, University of Baguio and a Makati selection.

As expected, the commercial ballclubs scored lopsided wins against the lightweights, some of the biggest winning margin includes Lhuillier’s 138-82 rout of MMC and Swift’s 132-84 win over Makati on April 22. Purefoods scored an easy 133-86 win against Newton and blasted PMI, 138-88. Sta.Lucia also had two lopsided victories, 118-77 against PICAA stars, and 111-64 over MMC.

On the final day of the round-robin in each group on April 27, the 8 undefeated teams battled it out, RFM-Swift’s surprisingly had a hard time against NCAA champion Letran, winning 113-112, as the Knights’ Fernando Libed scored 33 points. Magnolia had an easier time against NCAA runner up San Sebastian, 117-64. Sta.Lucia beat Lhuillier, 101-94, and Purefoods nip Miescor, 81-79.

The top-seeded team from Group A and C (Purefoods and Sta.Lucia) were joined by the 2nd-seeded from Group B and D (SSC and Letran) in another round-robin. Miescor, Lhuillier, Magnolia and Swift were in another group. The Purefoods Food Makers (3-0), with the likes of Roehl Gomez, Salvador Ramos, Rey Yncierto, Justino Pinat, Anthony Poblador, Julian Tomacruz, Larry Villanil, Unera and Valencia, remains unbeaten with their six straight victory and earn top seed in the knockout semifinals, Sta.Lucia (2-1) finish at number 2. The other two semifinalist were Lhuillier (2-1) and Magnolia (2-1), which knock off RFM-Swift’s, 116-103, as Jong Uichico topscored for the Juice Drinks with 31 points.

In the crossover, knockout semifinals on May 4, Magnolia finally ended Purefoods’ winning run with a 101-89 victory. Lhuillier clobbered Sta.Lucia, 123-91. Former PBA import Darryl Smith scored 34 points for the Jewelers. The first two PABL champions from last season; Lhuillier and Magnolia, will play for the National Seniors basketball championship.

Lhuillier-Converse were coached by Raul Alcoseba and the roster besides Smith includes Jojo Lastimosa, Peter Jao, Peter Aguilar, Jesus Ramirez, Francisco Navarro, Leoncio Tan, Jojo’s brother Danny Lastimosa, and ex-pros Jess Migalbin and Tata Merced. Magnolia under coach Derrick Pumaren, had Jerry Codinera, Nelson Asaytono, Jong Uichico, Benjie Gutierrez, Dindo Pumaren, Joey Santamaria, Richard Bachmann and former pro Rudy Distrito in their lineup.

In the championship game on May 6, the Jewelers outplayed their rivals and led by as many as 20 points and coasted to a 90-82 victory over Magnolia, and captured their second major title in the Metro Manila cage tournament. Sta.Lucia Realtors, behind Tony dela Cerna, Gido Babilonia, Jojo Martin, Nani Demigillo, Louie Alas and Edgar Macaraya, took third place with a 99-90 win over Purefoods.

And so we have the new National Seniors champion Lhuillier-Converse, after the three-year reign (1984-1986) of the now defunct Masagana 99 squad, which went to oblivion months after the EDSA Revolution.

Some of the scoring records in the two-week tourney were the 45 points by Darryl Smith in Lhuillier’s 111-115 overtime loss to RFM-Swift’s on April 29, in which the Hotdogs got 34 points from Boy Cabahug. Letran’s Fernando Libed scored 43 points in the Knights’ 103-90 win over University of Baguio on April 23, and Miescor’s Jojo Villapando, although its not clear how many points he scored.

Source: Manila Standard

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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in National Seniors


MICAA ’71 final round results that led to MERALCO’s first championship

While there are several blogs already on MERALCO Reddy Kilowatts’ first MICAA title in 1971, in which they defeated Crispa-Floro, 65-58, in the finale. Allow me to post the final round results among the six teams that enter. MERALCO finished with an unblemished 5-0 win-loss slate, followed by Crispa (4-1), Mariwasa (3-2), YCO (2-3), San Miguel Braves (1-4), and Yutivo (0-5).

The dates are not given but as taken from the Philippine Free Press issue dated July 24, 1971. The championship game between MERALCO and Crispa took place on July 11, while the final (or semifinal) round probably started and the last week of June.

Here are the results:

Day 1 – Mariwasa 87-77 Yco / Crispa 71-65 Yutivo

Day 2 – Crispa 78-74 San Miguel / Meralco 80-66 Yutivo

Day 3 – Mariwasa 88-80 San Miguel / Yco 89-76 Yutivo

Day 4 – Meralco 79-75 Crispa / San Miguel 86-73 Yutivo

Day 5 – Meralco 85-77 Mariwasa / Yco 92-67 San Miguel

Day 6 – Crispa over Mariwasa (score not found) / Meralco 64-59 Yco

Day 7 – Mariwasa 86-81 Yutivo / Crispa 85-65 Yco / Meralco 82-73 San Miguel.



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Posted by on October 9, 2016 in MICAA


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.



The first-ever Crispa-Toyota match in the MICAA!

The date is May 10, 1975, this was actually the first ever meeting between the would be long-time rivals Crispa and Toyota in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), but in the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA), the first ever Crispa vs Toyota match in Philippine basketball history books took place on this month, exactly 43 years ago on June 10, 1973.

The Toyota Comets, the newest ballclub to join the MICAA, had an impressive debut, beating the U/tex Weavers, 72-63 on June 3, 1973, with Robert Jaworski firing 14 points. In their second game a week later, the Comets went on to faced the Crispa-Floro Redmanizers, Fort Acuna, who was benched by coach Nilo Verona in their first game, scored on a twisting layup from a feed by Edward Camus to tie the count at 78-all with only 9 seconds remaining, Acuna scored only two points that night but his single field goal was crucial. As fate would have it on the next play, Rey Pages pump in a side jumper that allowed his team Crispa to escape with an 80-78 decision.

Toyota was down by 10 points at the half, 45-35, but a blistering rally in the final period saw the Comets tie the count, 67-all, at the end of regulation.

The scores:

Crispa (80) – Adornado 19, Co 16, Soriano 16, Guidaben 8, Pages 7, Franco 6, Cezar 4, Carvajal 2, Afable 2.

Toyota (78) – Bauzon 22, Jaworski 14, C.Reynoso 13, Fernandez 12, Arnaiz 4, Camus 4, A.Reynoso 3, Acuna 2, Rodriguez 2, Segura 2.

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Posted by on June 6, 2016 in MICAA