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From 1951 to 1962, Pinoy cagers lorded it over their counterparts in Asiad


PhilBoxing.com




In streaking to four straight Asian Games title wins in basketball from 1951 to 1962, the Philippines emerged victors in 23 games and losing only once.

The Filipinos had, in fact, emerged triumphant in 14 of their 16 outings in crowning themselves kings of the court in three consecutive times in 1951, 1954 and 1958 before suffering their first and only defeat at the hands of Republic of China (now Taiwan).

Our boys actually brought home our first Asiad diadem unscathed in New Delhi when the team, coached by Dionisio “Chito” Calvo, hurdled all their four assignments – 63-19, over Burma; 65-41, over Iran; 57-43, over Japan; and 66-36, over host india.

Calvo’s side was made up of team captain Antonio Martinez, Francisco Calilan, Andres de la Cruz, Genaro Fernandez, Jose Gochangco, Luis Lorenzo, Carlos Loyzaga, Lauro Mumar, Ignacio Ramos, Meliton Santos and Mariano Tolentino. Alternate was Luis Tabuena.

Hechanova came back four years later right here in Manila and skippered the Nationals this time composed of similarly come backing Loyzaga, Tolentino, Mumar and Ramos and reinforced by rookies Bayani Amador, Florentino Bautista, Jose Ma. Cacho, Napoleon Flores, Antonio Genato, Eduardo Lim, Ramon Manulat and Ponciano Saldana.

Handled by bench tactician Herminio ”Herr” Silva, the 1954 squad regaled their cheering countrymen in beating the enemies that came their way scoring an 82-63 triumph over Singapore; a whooping 105-41 outclassing of Cambodia; 84-45, of Korea; 65-40 of Japan; 76-52 again of Korea; and a closer 34-27 of Republic of China to keep the title back-to-back.

The 1954 Nationals were practically the same team the country sent to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for the Second World Men’s Championship. Skippered by Mumar, the team finished third, an accomplishment no other Asian nation has matched up to the present time.

It was also in Brazil where Loyzaga earned the distinction of being named as member the world’s mythical squad, the first Asian to have been accorded the honor.

Not to be outdone, the Nationals that invaded Tokyo in 1958, likewise, went home undefeated in gifting the country its third straight diadem. Coached by Valentin “Tito” Eduque, they rocked up four victories in-a-row before meeting their equal in the Taiwanese, who cut short he Filipinos’ 13 straight win since 1951 with a 93-88 conquest of the three-time defending champion.

For the third consecutive Asian Games staging, Loyzaga and Tolentino made it in 1958 in Tokyo combining talents with second-timers Lim and Manulat, Emilio Achacoso, Kurt Bachmann, Carlos Badion, Loreto Carbonell, Francisco Lagarejos, Leonardo Marquicias, Constancio Ortiz Jr. Martin Urra, Antonio Villamor and Francis Wilson.

Jakarta, this year’s host of the 18th Asiad, happens to be where the fourth edition of the quadrennial meeting among the best and the finest athletes in the region and the site, too, where the Philippines last tasted the championship in 1962.

Loyzaga led the Filipinos’ last stand as titleholder, teaming up with Bachmann, Engracio Arazas, Narciso Bernardo, Geronimo Cruz, Manuel Jicson, Alfonso Marquez, Roehl Nadufaa, Eduardo Pacheco, Cristobal Ramas, Alberto Reynoso, Edgardo Roque, Joselino Roa, Jose Laganson. Coach was Enrique Crame.

AS in the country’s first three title conquests, Loyzaga and company wiped out the opposition unbeaten, They beat Cambodia black and blue, 81-52; Thailand, 72-61; Korea, 84-68; host Indonesia, 107-74; repeated over Thailand, 108-73; Hong Kong 100-68; and Japan, 101-67.

The Filipinos came home without a medal of any color in 1966 in Bangkok where they landed in sixth the succeeding Games before a Robert Jaworski mentored all-PBA contingent cut short that medal drought 24 years later in 1990 in Beijing where they brought home the bronze medal.

Headed by Allan Caidic and Samboy Lim, who were both chosen members of he Asiad mythical selection, the team was also made up of Hector Calma, Rey Cuenco, Yves Dignadice, Ramon Fernandez, Dante Gonzalgo, Chito Loyzaga, Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras, Alvin Patrimonio and Zaldy Realubit.

Back in Bangkok in 1998, the PH Centennial squad made up of Andy Seigle, Jojo Lastimosa, Dennis Espino, Jun Limpot, Vergel Meneses, EJ Feihl, and Olsen Racela joining the star holdovers from the 1990 and 1994 teams Patrimonio, Caidic, Marlow Aquino, Johnny Abarrientos, and Kenneth Duremdes and handled by coach Tim Cone salvaged a bronze medal.

Photo: Samboy "Skywalker" Lim, member, of the 1990 PH Asian Games silver medalist team, who was also named to the Asiad Mythical selection along with Allan Caidic. File photo of EDDIE G. ALINEA.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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