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All seven players are no longer active in the PBA.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.
And so it is down to two: Barangay Ginebra and Meralco will dispute the PBA Governors Cup Finals starting tomorrow, 7 October, at the Big Dome, in a Best 4-out of-7 series.
It took quite some doing for both teams to make it this far. Ginebra needed the full five games of their semis series to oust sister team San Miguel Beer. In their win-or-go-home Game 5, Ginebra leaned on rookie guard Scottie Thompson's 24 points (4/7 on triples) and 15 rebounds (yep, no typo, 15 rebounds from the 5-foot-11 guard) to rip San Miguel 117-92. It was fitting payback after the Beermen forced a Game 5 by shredding the Gin Kings in Game 4.
Meralco needed four games to also pull the rug out from their own sister team Talk N Text. Cliff Hodge, the jumping jack Fil-Am forward who has spent his entire career with the Bolts, electrified his side with 32 points (12/19 field goals overall, including three triples) to lead them to the 94-88 victory.
In both series, the "dehado" had turned back the "llamado".
Ginebra last won a PBA championship in 2008, when they had mighty 7-foot-1 import Chris Alexander leading the way. Fast and Furious backcourt mates Mark Caguioa and Jay Helterbrand were still very much living up to their monickers back then. They are still with the Gin Kings up to now, although more as elder statesmen. It has been three years since Ginebra was in the Finals, the last time around they bowed to the Alaska Aces.
Merlaco last won a major basketball championship before there was even a PBA to speak of, when the Reddy Kilowatts (as they were then known) won the old MICAA championship. This is the franchise's first trip to the PBA Finals in its modern incarnation.
What to watch out for in this Finale?
1. Two rookies who were teammates for a while in the PBA D League will now take on each other.
Chris Newsome, whose two in-traffic dunks during the critical waning minutes in Game 4 are still making the video and GIF rounds all over the five digital platforms, is showing everybody why he is widely considered to be (in the words of our very own Joescoundrel) the last genuinely elite player to come out of the Ateneo. Newsome, the 6-foot-2 high-flying guard, has emerged as a vital cog and a legitimate starter for the Bolts. Newsome is playing "like an extra import" in the words of long-time Ginebra fan Gener Crescini. "Parang may maliit na import ang Meralco, tiyak pahihirapan niya mga bata ko," Crescini said over (what else?) shots of Ginebra San Miguel and grilled pigs ears.
His fellow rookie Thompson, who has emerged as a legitimate starter himself, is quickly justifying the high pick Coach Tim Cone used to nab him in the recent draft. "He just needs to keep building his confidence, keep taking shots, even if they aren't falling," said Ginebra veteran LA Tenorio. "Sinabi ko nga sa kanya, kahit tumira siya ng 50, kahit sumala siya ng 40, just keep shooting, kasi 'yun ang binibigay ng depensa," Tenorio added. Turns out that was advice well-given, and well-taken.
"A lot of people probably don't know that Scottie and I were teammates with Hapee in the D League," Newsome said in one interview. "I'm happy he's doing well, and it'll be fun and a challenge to go up against him in the Finals."
If they wind up as each other's match-up, Newsome will enjoy a tremendous edge in athleticism and strength, as those two Game 4 dunks showed. Thompson however has proven to be as brilliant an all-around player in the pros now as he was when he was the MVP of the NCAA. Thompson's versatility should allow him to neutralize somewhat the physical advantages of Newsome.
2. Size versus size.
6-foot-9 Japheth Aguilar, 6-foot-6 Joe De Vance, 6-foot-5 David Marcelo have more than held the fort up front for Ginebra in the absence of 7-foot Greg Slaughter. Slaughter was lost to injury this conference and is expected to miss another few months. Aguilar possesses arguably the best combination of size and athleticism in the entire league. He is still easily pinballed in the lane though, because he's such as long and lanky presence. But few big men have the range, running, and hops of Aguilar, and he is also averaging a little over two blocks per game. De Vance and Marcelo have provided solid support for Aguilar at both the 4 and 5 spots.
Meralco relies on 6-foot-6 Kelly Nabong, 6-foot-4 veteran Reynel Hugnatan, 6-foot-5 Bryan Faundo, 6-foot-4 Jared Dillinger, and the 6-foot-3 Hodge up front. Meralco has nowhere near the size of Ginebra up front, unless they can get something from two former UAAP MVP's whose careers have not been as illustrious in the PBA thus far: 6-foot-5 Ken Bono, and 6-foot-7 Rabeh Al-Hussaini. Al-Hussaini was the cornerstone upon which Black built his 5-Peat title reign with the Ateneo in the UAAP, but hasn't seen much action lately.
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.
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3rd PCYAA News Release 3
Juniors Division Standings
1-Philippine Cultural College (6-0), 2-Saint Jude Catholic School (5-1), 3-Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy (5-2), 4-Pace Academy (4-3), 5-Grace Christian College (3-4), 6-Uno High School (2-5), 7-Jubilee Christian Academy (1-5) and 8-Saint Peter the Apostle School (0-6)
Games Schedule at Uno HS gym
Tuesday February 9
7 p.m. – Pace Academy (4) vs. Grace Christian College (5)
Thursday February 11
7 p.m. – Makati Gospel Church-MGC (3) vs. Uno High School (6)
Saturday February 13
10:30 a.m. – Saint Jude Catholic School (2) vs. Jubilee Christian Academy (7)
12 noon – Philippine Cultural College (1) vs. Saint Peter the Apostle School (
Pace Academy survived a huge endgame rally by Grace Christian College to register a pulsating 72-70 victory on a right corner triple by Dean Ong with 7.9 seconds left off an assist from Pol Antiporda, and clinch the No.4 spot in the Juniors Division of the 3rd Philippine Ching Yuen Athletic Association (PCYAA) basketball competitions at the Uno High School Gym in Tondo, Manila.
The Pacers finished the seven-game elimination round with a 4-3 record and will play sixth-seeded GCC again in the quarterfinal playoffs that begin this week armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Trailing by 14 points with 5:10 left, Grace Christian scored 15 straight points to take a 70-69 lead on a three-point play by Sebastian Choi with 12.8 ticks left.
GCC had a golden opportunity to reverse the outcome but Choi’s three-point attempt at the buzzer was blocked.
Ong topscored for Pace with 19 points, followed by Pol Antiporda’s 16 points, and big man Getson Lim’s nine points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
Grace, whose record slipped to 3-4, got 15 points apiece from Choi and John Ing and 11 from the John Patrick Ong.
In the only other Juniors game Saturday, Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy downed Uno High School, 75-47. MGC, the No. 3 seed with a 5-2 record, bank on the heroics of the league’s No. 1 scorer Carl Ong (17.1 ppg), who collected 16 points and 10 rebounds; and Cedric Ho, who knocked in three triples and 15 points. Kim Tanlo topped Uno HS, 2-5, with nine points.
The quarterfinal matchups feature host and unbeaten top seed Philippine Cultural College vs. winless and No. 8 seed Saint Peter the Apostle School, defending champion and No. 2 seed Saint Jude Catholic School vs. No. 7 seed Jubilee Christian Academy (a rematch of last year’s finals), No. 3 seed MGC-NLCA vs. No. 6 seed Uno HS, and No. 4 seed Pace Academy vs. No. 5 seed Grace Christian College.
PCC, SJCS. MGC-NLCA and Pace own a twice-to-beat advantage over their respective opponents.