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Triumph in Basketball

The Philippines placed third in a world basketball competition in 1954. The Philippine team, headed by Carlos Loyzaga & Lauro Mumar, beat the favored Uruguay team, 67-63, to clinch the third place in the 1954 World Basketball Championship in Rio de Janeiro. The date was November 5, which was to become the greatest mark in the history of Philippine basketball. As expected, the U.S. team won the title against the host Brazil.

Because of this feat, Loyzaga, the "Big Difference", was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame as one of the greatest Filipino basketball players ever. He was a two-time Olympian & responsible for steering the fabled Philippine team to a string of victories in the 1950s. At the 1954 World Basketball Championship, he was chosen as a member of the Mythical Five - the world's best basketball players at that time. Along with teammates Lauro Mumar, Florentino Bautista & Mariano Tolentino, Loyzaga put the Philippines in the basketball map.

In Asia, the Philippines is considered a powerhouse in basketball after winning a number of championships in the Asian Basketball Conference (ABC) in the 1970s. It is also the perennial winner in basketball tournaments in Southeast Asia.

25 Greatest PBA Players

The Philippine Basketball Association has named the "25 All-Time Greatest Players" in the league. Not necessarily in order, these players are Bernard Fabiosa, Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Freddie Hubalde, Alberto Guidaben, William "Bogs" Adornado, Danny Florencio, Lim Eng Beng, Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fern&ez, Francis Arnaiz, Ricardo Brown, Ato Agustin, Hector Calma, Samboy Lim, Manny Paner, Jojo Lastimosa, Johnny Abarrientos, Kenneth Duremdes, Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codiņera, Allan Caidic, Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc & Vergel Meneses.

Highest Score by a Local Player 

Allan Caidic holds the all-time, one-game individual high scoring record in the PBA for local players. Caidic scored 79 points while playing for Presto Tivoli against Ginebra on November 21, 1991. His 68 points broke the old scoring record of 71 points by Paul Alvarez in 1991 & the 64 points shared by William Adornado of U-Tex & Danny Florencio of Seven-Up. Florencio set the mark in 1977 & Adornado in 1980.

Highest Score by a PBA Import

Former NBA player Tony Harris holds the all-time high scoring record in the PBA. As a Swift reinforcer, Harris scored 105 points to lead his team in defeating Ginebra, 151-147, in an out-of-town game held in Iloilo on October 10, 1992. 

Highest Points in a Game

The highest combined points scored by the competing teams in a single game were recorded on November 2, 1989. In that game, the Tivolis beat Alaska, 175-159 in overtime behind Allan Caidic's 68 points. Both teams had combined 334 points, the highest in any PBA game.

Three-Point Shots

The record of having the most number of three-point shots in a single game belongs to former Tivoli hotshot Allan Caidic. Caidic accomplished this feat when he sank in 17 three-point shots while playing for the Tivoli against Ginebra on November 21, 1991.

Oldest Professional Basketball Player

In 1998, Robert "Sonny" Jaworski was considered the oldest basketball player in the professional league. At 52, he was still donning his No. 7 jersey for Barangay Ginebra, probably the most popular team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).  In that year, he played alongside his son Dudut Jaworski for the same team, much to the excitement of the crowd. No other professional player in the world his age has played competitive basketball. In the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers' Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired at 45. Most professional basketball players retire from the league before they are 35. 

Jaworski, on the other h&, was still playing at least 30 minutes a ball game in his 40s. In 1986, he set the record for playing the most number of minutes in a game, 58, in a Ginebra versus Manila Beer encounter, when he was 40 years old. Simply known as "Jawo" to millions of his followers, this former playing coach is the son of Theodore Jaworski, a Polish-American who worked as a mining engineer in Baguio City. He is the only player who has played in the PBA from the league's birth in 1975 up to the league's 25th year. 

As a player, he won the Most Valuable Player in 1978 while playing for the fabled Toyota Corolla. He is listed as one of the PBA's 25 all-time greatest players & was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the league. Jaworski retired from the PBA in 1998 just before he assumed his new post as a senator of the Republic. He had served three decades of his life as a basketball player.

Tallest PBA Player 

The tallest PBA player is Edward Joseph Feihl of TJ Hotdogs. Feihl who st&s seven feet tall is half German. With his height, Feihl could bang bodies with the centers in the NBA. Feihl was part of the Philippine Centennial Team, which won third place in the 1998 Asian Games.  Feihl is at least three inches taller than other PBA centers like Marlou Aquino, Paul Asi Taulava, James Walkvist, &y Seigle & Bonel Balingit. 

Meanwhile, the tallest basketball player who has played in the NBA is Gheorghe Muresan (7'7 or 2.31 m). But the tallest basketball player in the world was Suleiman Ali Nashnush (8'1/2" or 2.45 m) of the Libyan team. The tallest man in history was Robert Wadlow (8'11 or 2.72 m). 

First White PBA Imports 

The fans of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), the world's second oldest professional basketball league, saw something unusual in the import-laden PBA Commissioner's Cup 2000. 
For the past 20 years, the league saw African-American imports in action. Then came Ryan Fletcher, a white American, & the chosen import of Barangay Ginebra. Two weeks after Fletcher arrived, league newcomer Red Bull hired another white American, in the person of Jack Hartman. The first white import who l&ed at the PBA was John Kazmer who saw action for U-Tex in 1981. 

Biggest Lead in a Basketball Game 

The Philippine team registered what could be the world's biggest lead in an amateur basketball game when it clobbered Brunei Darussalam, 160-19, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on July 2, 2000. 
The 141-point lead could be the biggest for any amateur basketball team since basketball was introduced in the Philippines by the Americans. During the game, the Philippine national team limited the Brunei squad to only 19 points. It later won the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Young Men's Tournament crown against Malaysia. 

The Brunei players committed a record of 73 turnovers, giving the Filipinos most of the opportunities to score. At one point, the RP squad made 33 consecutive points & twice fired 28 in a row. Brunei only managed to score seven points in the final 20 minutes after trailing 12-71 in the opening half. Eight out of the 11 Filipino players fielded in by Coach Boyzie Zamar scored in double figures. 

MVP-Rookie of the Year Awards

Benjie Paras of Formula Shell was the first & only PBA player to have won the MVP & the Rookie of the Year awards in the same year. Paras, who was given the moniker "Tower of Power", accomplished this feat in 1989. When tall Filipino-American players posed a threat to this record, Paras again rose to the occasion & bagged the coveted MVP title in 1999.

Four-Time MVPs

Two PBA players hold the record of having won the MVP awards four times in their career. These players are Ramon Fern&ez of Crispa Redmanizers & Alvin Patrimonio of TJ Hotdogs. Fernandez retired from the PBA in the early 1990s while Patrimonio remains an active player for the Hotdogs.

Seven-Time Best Import

Bobby Parks won the "Best Import" award in the PBA for seven times. Parks has played for Shell & is now one of the team's consultants.

Gr& Slam Coaches

Four PBA coaches were able to win a gr& slam (three championship titles in a year) each for their respective teams. They are Baby Dalupan & Tommy Manotoc of Crispa Redmanizers, Norman Black of San Miguel Beer, & Tim Cone of Alaska Milk.

First Rookie of the Year

Gil Cortez of Toyota was the first recipient of PBA's Rookie of the Year award. He received the award in 1976. 

First MVP

Bogs Adornado was chosen as the first recepient of PBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) plum in 1976.

First Basket

Joy Dionisio, who was playing for Concepcion-Carrier against Mariwasa-Noritake, made the first shot in the PBA. He scored a layup on April 9, 1975, at the Araneta Coliseum. But Mariwasa-Noritake went on to win the PBA's first game, 101-98, behind Cisco Oliver's 48 points. 

First PBA Imports

The first foreign players to have played in the PBA as imports were Byron Jones of Toyota & Cisco Oliver of Noritake.