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The one and only King Carlos Loyzaga


PhilBoxing.com



Loyzaga.

There are not too many among today?s basketball devotees hereabouts fortunate enough to have witnessed the great Carlos Loyzaga in action.

Such a sorry fact, and it?s like this:

At the peak of Muhammad Ali?s career, there came the swoon that sports lovers were lucky to have been born in the Age of Ali.

Ali was a gift, a reward for the world to behold.

* * *

Regarding Loyzaga, it would not be an exaggeration to say that we were just as lucky to have watched and worshiped at Rizal Memorial Coliseum, the old national basketball mecca, during the reign of King Caloy.

Loyzaga, just like Ali, made sporting immortality tangible.

A Loyzaga performance would always be marked high for its epic brilliance.

* * *

For example, in boxing, they said that the immortal Sugar Ray Robinson boxed as though he was playing the violin, there was melodic rhythm in his moves.

In Loyzaga?s case, he presided over the game with the classic composure, courage, sharpness and elegance of a magnificent matador.

He was a luminous leader in red; a smooth, gliding scorer and a mighty unshakable defender. Listed as a 6-foot-3 center, he could play all positions and was certified as national team utility man, often awesome as a mighty seven-foot team pillar.

* * *

Loyzaga?s inclusion in the Mythical Selection for the World Basketball Championship, where the Philippine national team won the bronze medal in 1954, was easily equivalent to enshrinement in the international basketball Hall of Fame.

Deserving of a monument, he should have been declared a national treasure and hero many times over.

Loyzaga was so great that the legendary Nick Joaquin, National Artist for Literature, once confided he would?ve written a novel on King Caloy.

* * *

Of course, Loyzaga would be truly grateful if we could find a successor to his greatness, integrity, his creative nobility among today?s rich and famous local basketball stars.

As the head of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Jose Cojuangco affirmed, Loyzaga truly excelled in that, despite his fame and mythical stature, he was never involved in controversy.

One request: Please find time, make an effort, to help and feed hungry street children, and work to contain the mounting malnourishment of poor Filipino kids, for the glory of Mr. Loyzaga?s soul.

Thank you, God bless you all.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Recah Trinidad.


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