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Henry Liao

  1. PBA History: Homegrown Players with 50 points-or-more Games

    Among the most prolific offensive players in the 41-year existence of the local professional league Philippine Basketball Association, only seven ?homegrown? Filipino athletes were able to score 50 points or more in a single game during their distinguished careers.
    All seven players are no longer active in the PBA.

    Five actually broke the 60-point barrier ? ?The Triggerman? Allan Caidic , ?Mr. Excitement? Paul (Bong) Alvarez, William (Bogs) Adornado, Danilo Florencio and Abe King.

    As if scoring a 60 was not mind-boggling enough, two men ? Caidic and Alvarez ? even went over that mark to collect a 70 on separate occasions.

    This is truly a remarkable feat when one considers that their singular individual performances during the PBA?s early years could easily have been the total output of a team in a 48-minute game in today?s era.

    In one shining moment, Caidic chalked up 79 points in a game ? the highest ever by a homegrown Filipino player in league annals ? for Tivoli (Presto) on November 21, 1991. The former University of the East gunslinger also had a 68 for Presto on November 2, 1989.
    Alvarez tallied 71 points for Alaska on April 26, 1990. Adornado knocked in 64 scores for U-Tex on December 23, 1980; Florencio netted 64 points for Seven-Up on November 5, 1977; and King collected 60 points for Toyota on June 21, 1979.

    All the aforementioned efforts happened between 1977 and 1991.

    Of the six 60 points-or-more feats, four came on a winning note ? Caidic (79, Tivoli 162-Ginebra 149), Alvarez (71, Alaska 169-Shell 13, Caidic (68, Presto 175-Alaska 159 OT) and Adornado (64, U-Tex 126-San Miguel Beer 111).

    The two that were recorded in a losing cause: Florencio (64, Seven-Up 121-Toyota 136) and King (60, Toyota 142-Crispa 172).

    Venancio (Benjie) Paras and Fortunato (Atoy) Co Jr. are the two other homegrown Filipino cagers with 50-point games in the past.
    Paras, who has moonlighted as a comedy actor on television and in the big screen since his prime playing years, once made 50 markers with Shell in 1989.

    It was the year that the amiable 6-5 Paras became the first and only player in PBA history to secure Rookie of the year and Most Valuable Player honors in the same season.

    Like Paras, Co only had a single 50-point performance during his outstanding PBA career.

    Monikered ?The Fortune Cookie,? Co, who was famous for his difficult turnaround, fadeaway jumpers, got a 50 with the fabled Crispa Redmanizers franchise in 1979. He, too, gained the MVP plum that year albeit in a controversial fashion.

    Co was way behind Toyota?s Ramon Fernandez in the MVP statistical category but subsequently collected all the media votes ? following a get-together with the sports editors of the top national dailies by the late Crispa team manager Danny Floro ? to walk away with the MVP award.
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    Philippine Basketball
  2. PBA History: El Presidente's near Triple-Double Season

    Collecting 50 points in one game may be one of the measurements of offensive wizardry, yet some of the legendary players in Philippine Basketball Association history never reached the plateau during their illustrious careers.

    Strange but true, all-time PBA greats Robert Vincent Salazar (Sonny) Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio, all of whom were once recipients of the Most Valuable Player hardware during their heyday, never tallied a 50 at any time.

    Jaworski, a 6-foot-1 guard whose play epitomized the never-say-die spirit that defined the teams he later handled in pro coaching, chalked up his personal high of 34 with the famed Toyota franchise in 1980 at age 34.

    Needles to say, however, the Big J was more known for his rugged and gung-ho defensive skills than his offensive prowess.

    Jaworski, also monikered ?The Living Legend,? helped the Toyota Tamaraws win nine PBA conference championships in nine seasons with the Ricardo Silverio-owned franchise (from the league?s inception in 1975 until the team?s disbandment after the 1983 season). The Baguio City-born son of a Polish-American father Theodore Vincent Jaworski and an Ilocano mother Iluminada Bautista Salazar was voted the PBA MVP during the 1978 season when he posted averages of a career-high 20.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 55 games and Toyota snared two of the three conference championships at stake.

    Jaworski, the first playing coach in PBA history in 1985 with four more championships with the Ginebra San Miguel franchise, last saw action in Asia?s first-ever pro league in March 1997 in a game held in Dumaguete City, making him the oldest player ever to suit up in a PBA game at age 51.

    Jaworski won a Philippine Senate seat during the 1998 elections and served for six years (June 30, 1998-June 30, 2004). He turned 70 last March.

    Fernandez, a gangling 6-foot-5 center, was a teammate of Jaworski during the Toyota era. Fondly called ?El Presidente? for his elegant, silky-smooth offensive skills, Fernandez owned a career high of 48 points with the Tamaraws in 1980.

    The year that Jaworski earned his MVP award, Fernandez actually wound up as Toyota?s season scoring leader with 20.6 points along with 9.7 rebounds in 54 appearances. Like the Big J, he won nine title rings with and a league MVP trophy in 1982 with Toyota. Following Toyota?s disbandment, the Maasin, Southern Leyte native and product of the University of San Carlos hooked up with Beer Hausen in 1984 during which he captured a second MVP hardware with a career-high 27.8 scores, 11.2 boards, 9.9 assists, 1.55 steals and 2.09 shot blocks in 64 outings.

    It was probably the most dominant one-season individual performance in PBA annals with Fernandez, who netted 46 points at one time during the campaign, came just five assists short of a triple-double average. However, he was unable to steer Beer Hausen to any conference championships, winding up with only fourth-, second- and third-place finishes (arranged in order of conferences).

    Fernandez also would romp away with the PBA MVP honor with Tanduay in 1986 and Purefoods/San Miguel Beer in 1988 (getting 47 points with Purefoods in one game, one short of his career high), becoming the only player ever to win four MVP trophies with four different franchises.
    Fernandez, who hung up his jersey in 1994 after a record 19 PBA conference crowns, tried national politics during the 1995 mid-term elections but was soundly beaten in the senatorial polls.

    He subsequently relocated to Cebu City and ventured into various businesses.

    In July 1 this year, Fernandez, who turned 63 last October 3, was named one of the four commissioners of the Philippine Sports Commission under the new administration.

    Like Fernandez, Patrimonio also collected an all-time high of four PBA MVP awards during his entire 17-year tenure (1988-2005) with the Purefoods franchise, accomplishing the feat in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997.

    Known as ?The Captain,? the 6-3 forward chalked up a career-high 47 points with the Purefoods Hotdogs in 1991.

    Since his retirement, Patrimonio, who turns 50 on November 17, has acted as the team manager of the Purefoods franchise under different banners ? B-Meg Derby Ace, San Mig Coffee and now, Star Hotshots.

    It?s truly amazing that Fernandez (first), Patrimonio (third) and Jaworski (ninth) continue to rank among the top 10 on the PBA?s all-time scoring ladder until now even if neither of the three all-time greats registered a 50-point game during their remarkable careers.
  3. Fallen PBA SAF 12 Heroes

    So it has come to pass that the Philippine Basketball Association has come up with its official list of the 40 greatest players in its history as part of the pro league’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

    A highly-competent seven-man selection committee voted to name the list of the 40 all-time greats, which is bannered by the original 25 Greatest Players awardees, namely, 1-Ramon Fernandez, 2-Alvin Patrimonio, 3-William (Bogs) Adornado, 4-Fortunato (Atoy) Co Jr., 5-Robert (Sonny) Jaworski, 6-Alberto (Abet) Guidaben, 7-Venacio (Benjie) Paras, 8-Alfredo (Freddie) Hubalde,9-Philip Cezar, 10-Ricardo (Ricky) Brown, 11-Jerry Codinera, 12-Kenneth Duremdes, 13-Bernard (Bernie) Fabiosa, 14-Danny Florencio, 15-Isabelo (Jojo) Lastimosa, 16-Lim Eng Beng, 17-Avelino (Samboy) Lim Jr., 18-Ronald (Ronnie) Magsanoc, 19-Vergel Meneses, 20-Manuel (Manny) Paner, 21-Johnny Abarrientos, 22-Renato (Ato) Agustin, 23-Francis Arnaiz, 24-Hector Calma and 25-Allan Caidic

    The new members are 10 automatic selections Pauliasi (Asi) Taulava, Eric Menk, Kelly Williams, Anthony Jason (Jayjay) Helterbrand, Jimmy Alapag, Mark Caguioa, James Yap, Danilo (Danny) Ildefonso, Willie Miller and Arwind Santos – thanks to the committee’s decision to include automatically former league Most Valuable Player awardees – and five at-large picks, namely, Marlou Aquino, Joaquin (Chito) Loyzaga, Kerby Raymundo, Jean Marc Pingris and Jayson Castro.

    The list is a mixture of can’t-miss choices (such as Fernandez, Patrimonio, Co, Jaworski and Paras), borderline picks (better not to be named) and controversial, if not undeserving, selections (again, better not to be named).

    Every hoops junkie has his opinion of the PBA’s all-time greatest list. I have come up with my own list and this does not include at least six players that were mentioned in the official PBA charts. Of course, my own choices are subject to debate.

    In the end, we can always agree to disagree.

    However, this 20 percent-discount-on-any-item pensioner/aging hoops junkie is suggesting that the PBA should tweak the criteria for selection once the PBA is again called upon to produce its 50 greatest athletes a decade from now (2025) during its golden anniversary.

    Among them:

    + The selection process must be democratize and not left just to seven or eight people who may not have yet been born when the PBA first saw the light of day. Increase the number of the selection panel to 100, maybe even 200, with each voter obligated to complete a five-man ticket and points – 10 for a first-place vote, seven for second place, five for third place, three for fourth place and one for fifth place – awarded depending on the ranking of their choices.

    The 50 players that garnered the most number of points thus will be named to the all-time greatest list and probably there would be less controversy since the selection process is much more widespread.

    + Stock up the selection panel with as many as 100 members – or even more – from a cross-section of the PBA Nation.

    Include some long-time PBA fans (never underestimate their value – where would be the PBA today without them?), legendary PBA players (perhaps five from the 1975-85 era, five from 1986-95, another five from 1996-2015 and five more from 2016-2025 with the players not allowed to vote for themselves), long-time PBA media practitioners (print, radio and television), veteran PBA production/statistical staff, long-time team personnel (who have been there since 1975) and others.

    No one sector has a monopoly of basketball intelligence.

    + Discard the “automatic” selection rule for former MVPs. It must be on case-to-case basis. A few MVPs on the current list are simply one-hit wonders who did not even help their team to a title during their MVP year. By the way, if an MVP was an automatic selection on the 40th Anniversary list, why was June Mar Fajardo left out? Fajardo was the MVP in 2013-14 and declared as such several months before the seven-man selection panel announced the results of the voting in December 2014.

    + Longevity must be taken into account. Perhaps only players who have had at least eight years of experience should be considered for selection. A cager must prove his worth over a period of time before greatness can be considered.

    For whatever its worth, here is this Hoopster’s Fallen PBA SAF (Snubbed All-time Favorite) 12 Heroes.

    Hereunder are their names and career statistics. Okay, it’s not a be-all-end-all yardstick, but statistics are among the concrete or tangible measurements of a athlete’s greatness (winning championships is another).

    1-Nelson (The Bull) Asaytono – 17 years, 1989-2006, 820 games, 15.0 ppg, 5.5 ...

    Updated 04-12-2015 at 02:07 AM by gameface_one (Correction)

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    Philippine Basketball
  4. My List of the 40 Greatest Players in PBA History

    April 9 traditionally has been a “red-colored” national holiday as we Filipinos commemorate the fall of Bataan to the invading Japanese forces during the World War II hostilities.

    In sports, April 9 also is a special date to local basketball fans.

    The first game (or playdate) in the hallowed history of Asia’s first professional cage league, the Philippine Basketball Association, was held on April 9, 1975.

    Through the last 40 years, the PBA unquestionably has produced numerous heroes and legends in Philippine basketball.

    In conjunction with the pro league’s 40th anniversary, this Hoopster, a witness to thousands of games since the PBA’s inception in 1975, has come up with his own list of the 40 greatest players in PBA annals.

    Unlike the PBA’s official list, Most Valuable Player awardees are not automatic selections for this battle-scarred hoops junkie. Only homegrown Filipinos or Fil-foreigners with at least eight years of experience qualify for consideration.

    I am sure you readers may disagree with some of my selections. Any differences in opinion are highly appreciated.

    Bring out the drums and bugles for here is this Hoopster’s 40-player PBA Honors List (in alphabetical order):

    1-William (Bogs) Adornado (12 seasons, 1975-87, 586 games, 20.4 ppg, 1975-1976-1981 MVP), 2-Renato (Ato) Agustin (12 seasons, 1989-2001, 569 games, 14.0 ppg, 1992 MVP), 3-Paul (Bong) Alvarez (12 seasons, 1989-2005, 403 games, 16.4 ppg), 4-Marlou Aquino (15 seasons, 1996-2001, 648 games, 12.0 ppg, 1996 Rookie of the Year), 5-Francis Arnaiz (12 seasons, 1975-86, 613 games, 16.8 ppg, 4.8 apg), 6-Nelson (The Bull) Asaytono (17 seasons, 1989-2006, 820 games, 15.0 ppg), 7-Ricardo (Ricky) Brown (8 seasons, 1983-90, 340 games, 23.1 ppg, 7.3 apg, 1983 ROY, 1985 MVP), 8-Allan (The Triggerman) Caidic (13 seasons, 1987-99, 598 games, 19.6 ppg, 1987 ROY, 1990 MVP), 9-Jeffrey Cariaso (15 seasons, 1995-2010, 686 games, 13.0 ppg, 1995 ROY), and 10-Philip (Tapang King) Cezar (17 seasons, 1975-91, 918 games, 13.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1980 MVP);

    11-Fortunato (Atoy) Co Jr. (14 seasons, 1975-88, 749 games, 17.3 ppg, 1979 MVP), 12-Jerry (Defense Minister) Codinera (17 seasons, 1988-2005, 871 games, 12.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg); 13-Kenneth (Captain Marbel) Duremdes (13 seasons, 1995-2008, 527 games, 13.4 ppg, 1998 MVP), 14-Dennis Espino (16 seasons, 1995-2011, 669 games, 13.2 ppg), 15-Ernesto (Estoy) Estrada (8 seasons, 1975-82, 289 games, 19.6 ppg), 16-Ramon (El Presidente) Fernandez (20 seasons, 1975-94, 1,074 games, 17.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.7 bpg, 1982-1984-1986-1988 MVP), 17-Danilo (Danny) Florencio (8 seasons, 1975-83, 343 games, 16.0 ppg), 18-Alberto (Abet) Guidaben (21 seasons, 1975-95, 1,081 games, 14.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1983-1987 MVP), 19-Alfredo (Freddie) Hubalde (16 seasons, 1975-90, 793 games, 12.5 ppg, 1977 MVP), and 20-Danilo (Danny) Ildefonso (17th season, 1998-2015, 680 games-plus, 11.2 ppg-plus, 1998 ROY, 2000-2001 MVP);

    21-Robert (Sonny) Jaworski (24 seasons, 1975-98, 958 games, 12.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 6.1 apg, 1978 MVP), 22-Isabelo (Jojo) Lastimosa (15 seasons, 1988-2002, 789 games, 15.3 ppg, 1988 ROY), 23-Avelino (Samboy) Lim (10 seasons, 1986-97, 335 games, 16.0 ppg), 24-Lim Eng Beng (11 seasons, 1975-86, 416 games, 14.1 ppg), 25-Zandro (Jun) Limpot (14 seasons, 1993-2007, 558 games, 16.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1993 ROY), 26-Ronald (Ronnie) Magsanoc (15 seasons, 1988-2002, 618 games, 12.7 ppg, 5.2 apg), 27-Vergel (Aerial Voyager) Meneses 914 seasons, 1992-2006, 590 games, 16.0 ppg, 1995 MVP), 28-Eric (Major pain) Menk (15th season, 1999-2012, 2013-15, 463 games-plus, 13.5 ppg-plus, 9.0 rpg-plus, 2005 MVP), 29-Willie (Thriller) Miller (14th year, 2001-15, 626 games-plus, 13.8 ppg-plus, 2002-2007 MVP), and 30-Manuel (Manny) Paner (12 seasons, 1975-86, 473 games, 12.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg);

    31-Venacio (Benjie) Paras (15 seasons, 1989-2003, 586 games, 17.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 1989-1999 MVP), 32-Alvin (The Captain) Patrimonio (17 seasons, 1988-2005, 857 games, 17.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1991-1993-1994-1997 MVP), 33-Danny Seigle (15th season, 1999-2002, 2004-15, 505 games-plus, 16.1 ppg, 1999 ROY), 34-Pauliasi (Asi) Taulava (16th season, 1999-2015, 465 games-plus, 15.7 ppg-plus, 11.7 rpg-plus, 2003 MVP), and 35-Arnulfo (Arnie) Tuadles (14 seasons, 1979-92, 692 games, 13.6 ppg, 1979 ROY); and subsequently the five latest additions from this Hoopster’s 35th Anniversary list five years ago;

    36-Mark (The Spark) Caguioa (13th season, 2001-08, 2009-15, 534 games-plus, 16.7 ppg-plus, 2001 ROY, 2012 MVP), 37-Arwind Santos (9th season, 2006-15, 390 games-plus, 14.9 ppg-plus, 9.0 rpg-plus , 2013 MVP), 38-Jimmy (Mighty Mouse) Alapag (11 seasons, 2003-14, 542 games, 12.6 ppg, 5.9 apg, 2003 ROY, 2011 MVP), 39-James Yap (11th season, 2004-15, 542 games-plus, 16.4 ppg-plus, 2006-2010 ...
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    Philippine Basketball
  5. Triangle Offense

    The winningest head coach in Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) history, Earl Timothy (Tim) Cone, utilized the scheme with the Alaska franchise and won 13 titles in two decades’ service from the 1990s to the 2010s.

    Great success probably “bored” the American-born Cone so much so he sought new challenges. In 2011, he moved over to Purefoods Star Margarine (formerly known as B-Meg then San Mig Coffee) and won five more titles with the same gameplan, including a rare Triple Crown in 2013-14 and four consecutive championship finishes entering the ongoing 2014-15 Philippine (All-Filipino) Cup.

    Jeffrey Cariaso, one of Cone’s former disciples on the San Mig bench, left his “sensei” to make his own trail with another San Miguel Corporation franchise during third and final conference (Governors Cup) of the 2013-14 wars. Cariaso himself has since adopted the same offensive scheme with Barangay Ginebra.

    The Triangle Offense is what we are talking about here. It’s an intricate system that takes time to develop but once fully mastered, it can be a deadly offensive strategy.

    In the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA), the winningest bench boss ever, Hall of Famer Phil Jackson (now the president of the New York Knickerbockers), employed the triangle offense during his distinguished career in X-ing and O-ing and snared 11 championship hardware with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers from the 1990s to the 2000s.

    One of Jackson’s former Laker players, Derek Fisher, is now the rookie head tactician of the Knicks. And following his boss’ path, Fisher is implementing the triple-post offense in Gotham City.

    The origin of the triangle offense is a bit unclear although retired college and professional coach Morice Fredrick (Tex) Winter is generally considered its “inventor “and/or “innovator.”

    The basic concepts of the triangle offense, which is also known as the sideline triangle, were formulated nearly seven decades ago by former collegiate coach Sam Barry at the University of Southern California.

    Barry introduced the ‘triangle offense” where players stand in triangular positions on either side of the basketball court to create good spacing between players and allow each one to pass to four teammates.

    Barry’s initial setup employed the single triangulation setup of the center, who stands at the low post; a forward, who is at the wing; and a guard, who is at the corner, on one side of the court.

    At the other side of this five-player system are the off guard, who stands at the top of the key, and the “weaker” forward, who is stationed at the weak-side high post.

    Barry, who was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, ran his version of the TO with a stocky guard named Fred (Tex) Winter.

    When Winter became the head coach at Kansas State University in 1953, he brought Barry’s TO and even made it more complicated with different strategies involving various advantageous moves.

    Winter subsequently immortalized the “triangle offense” by writing the book “Triple-Post Offense” in 1962 while at KSU.

    Winter joined the professional NBA in 1971-72 as the head coach of the Houston Rockets. After just one and a half seasons with the Rockets, however, he returned to the collegiate coaching ranks.

    Winter did not get back into the NBA until 1985 when he served as an assistant to head coaches Stan Albeck and Doug Collins while with the Chicago Bulls.
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