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Thread: The Living Legend: Robert Jaworski Sr.

  1. #1

    The Living Legend: Robert Jaworski Sr.

    Birth of Toyota

    THEIRS is a classic case of rivalry. Of war unparalleled and unequaled. Toyota and Crispa.
    It was no case of sudden sprouting of mushroom after a night of heavy downpour. It just didn't come to be from nowhere. It was a case of filling gaps left unplanned.
    In 1974, Meralco big bosses planned to participate in non-MICAA tourneys. But instead of this taking form from the drawing board, Meralco did a complete turn-around. Worse, it decided to disband.
    Meralco did not see the need to maintain a ballclub, not even for advertisement, the prime mover why corporations seek a basketball franchise. Meralco, after all did not, as it does not have now, any competitor in the distribution of electricity in Metro Manila. It had plain and simple monopoly.
    Jaworski was in grief, and he had reasons to, the Living Legend for one, surrendered his unwavering loyalty to Meralco. Amidst the countless offers he received from all other teams to change boats, Crispa included, Jaworski remained with Meralco.
    Meralco, on the other hand, with the speed of a balloon busted by the pricking of a pin, finding no use in maintaining a team, just went ahead to withdraw.
    Just a few months after that, Dante Silverio formed a new team built around the Living Legend. The name of the team was Komatsu Komets. Dante Silverio was then into distributor of Komatsu heavy equipment, that is why the name.
    Komatsu Komets, coached by Nilo Verona and managed by Dante Silverio, however, did not last long, perhaps due to the criticisms it got from using two K. The management decided to rename it to Toyota Comets.
    It was in Toyota Comets where the famous basketball partnership of Jaworski and Francis Arnaiz, called the "clutch"?, took shape. While Atoy Co was being built up in Crispa, at the other end, Toyota Comets were beefing their side by hiring the services of Roberto Conception, Bebot Acosta, Alberto Reynoso, Cristino Reynoso and Rodolfo Segura, to name but a few.
    It was in MICAA where Toyota and Crispa commenced their unforgettable struggle to dominate the other.
    A year after in 1975, they were to shift to the pro league, the PBA, and so with Jaworski and his partnership with the clutch.
    Last edited by Emon74; 11-23-2016 at 06:57 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Trivia on Big J

    Diminishing Court Savvy

    It was indeed an irony of sorts. Although the closing years of the 70s saw Robert Jaworski playing what could have been his best performance in the PBA, sad to say, it was likewise in those years that the Big J's games had their hint of declining.
    Yes, Toyota did manage to enter the finals of all three conferences of 1979 season, but it only managed to salvage one crown; the Invitational championship against perennial rival Crispa Redmanizers. And unfortunately, the Big J's drooping act contributed immensely to the Tamaraws' searing debacle.
    Take for Example their championship loss against Royal Tru-Orange in the 2nd Conference Open. The Tamaraws had a roller coaster ride in their semifinals campaign and had to endure a finishing kick in the homestretch in order to salvage the second finals berth.
    Despite their ups and downs, the Tamaraws were still favored to whip the Orangemen, whose best finish in the league was at that time was a third place spot. But fate wouldn't smile on the Big J and the Tamaraws. Come championship time, the Tamaraws were reduced to a bunch of whipping boys silently smothered by the Larry Pounds-led Orangemen.
    In the penultimate fourth game of the Best of Five series, with Royal having a 2-1 advantage going to the game, the Tamaraws could have gone on and tied the battle with a victory. But with six seconds left, Royal Tru-Orange's man-mountain import Otto Moore provided the winning move when he gave Pounds a perfect baseball pitch, Pounds would easily drive in to the basket with a dumb-founded Jaworski hardly offering any resistance.
    It was Royal's first lead of the game, and subsequently Game four's final score, 102-101, with Tru-Orange pulling the rug under the feet of the heavily-favored Tamaraws. Jaworski still flashed the same brilliant form he had in the previous years during the finals. But already evident was his declining performance as the other Tamaraws would start taking away the post from him, particularly 6-4 slotman Ramon Fernandez.
    If there were any consolation for the Tamaraws, it was their winning the All Filipino Crown under the stewardship of the late Fort Acuna. The Tamaraws avenge their loss to the Redmanizers during the first conference by winning the plum, 3-1.
    Still, it was not enough to notice the Big J's dipping performance, at the age of 33, it seemed Jaworski was already phasing himself to a new career in basketball. Age indeed was fast catching up on him. He still commanded the respect he had been used to, but definitely the brilliancy in his game was slowly diminishing.
    Last edited by Emon74; 11-23-2016 at 07:05 AM.

  3. #3

    Re: Trivia on Big J

    Reversal of Fortune

    It was a reversal of fortune that hounded favored Toyota tamaraws during the 1980 PBA Open Conference Finals. Up against an underdog U/tex squad, Toyota was heavily favored to win its eight crown in the pro league.
    Bannered by a powerhouse cast led by team skipper Robert Jaworski, backcourt partner Francis Arnaiz, ace center Ramon Fernandez, power forward Abe King, sophomore Arnie Tuadles and imports Andrew Fields and Bruce King, there seemed to be no way the Wranglers can pull off the upset ax against the dominating Tamaraws.
    But the Wranglers, behind explosive imports Glen McDonald and Aaron James, bogs Adornado and Lim Eng Beng, rewrote the championship script and change the ending of the story.
    U/tex immediately surprise everybody by taking Game 1, 110-94, behind the 1-2 kickoff provided by Adornado and Eng Beng in the game's homestretch.
    The true champion that they are, the tamaraws, however came back strong in the next game, with Jaworski pumping in eight triples on the way to helping the tamaraws erect to a 107-102 victory in Game 2. the eight triples converted by the Big J was a finals record.
    Just when everbody thought the Wranglers would start to fold up, U/tex, with a relentless defensive stance designed by coach Tommy Manotoc, pulled off another surprising victory in Game 3, 103-98.
    With only a foot away from the championship, U/tex was all set to wrap up the series. But the tamaraws wouldn't surrender the white flag that easy, stretching the titular showdown in a no-tomorrow battle, courtesy of their 113-92 triumph in Game 4.
    Armageddon day would come in Game 5, Experience and talent wise, Toyota was the solid favorite. For a while, it seemed the Tamaraws was on their way of posting a win and clinch the Open Conference title as the team was leading by four, 94-90 with 16 seconds to go.
    Then, the inevitable thing happened, a series of mental lapses hounded the Tamaraws which allowed the Wranglers to come back. With still three fouls away from the penalty, the Tamaraws allowed import Aaron James to drive unmolestedly towards the basket.
    A timeout was called by Toyota coach Fort Acuna after a U/tex basket and with time down to 11 seconds left, proved to be a disaster to the tamaraws as it enabled U/tex to organize.
    True enough, as the Tamaraws inbounded, the Wranglers went on a press and anticipated the play. McDonald intercepted the ball with five seconds to go but was fouled by Arnaiz going to the hoop with two seconds left in regulation. McDonald then calmly sank the two free throws to extend the game into overtime.
    A see-saw battle then ensued in overtime with both teams obviously feeling the championship pressure. Bogs Adornado converted on a long try with 1:25 seconds left in the ballgame, which later proved to be the winning basket as both teams would commit a series of misses until the final buzzer sounded.
    The Final tally: 99-98 in favor of U/tex.
    ""If we ever go, let's all go down trying" a teary-eyed Manotoc said during the post-game interview.
    When asked for his own comment, Toyota coach Acuna was all but dumbfounded
    Ditto for the rest of the Tamaraws. The Big J included.
    Last edited by Emon74; 11-21-2016 at 05:23 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Trivia on Big J

    Though this thread is more about the Big J, there was more to that championship series that became forgotten over time:

    - Tommy Manotoc's mantra then was "One step backward, two steps forward." He never allowed his team to think of giving up.They didn't.

    -Toyota import Andy Fields was ranting over Toyota's defensive lapses in the final seconds that gave U/Tex a chance to rise from the grave. He screamed in agony at his teammates later on, telling them why they were celebrating when the game wasnt over yet. He was right, of course. Fat Lady Blues.

    -The series had a devastating effect on Fort Acuña, who, after a chain of events beginning with that championship game, would later commit suicide.
    We are not a nation of donkeys, we are a nation of Lions!

  5. #5

    Re: Trivia on Big J

    Quote Originally Posted by MonL
    Though this thread is more about the Big J, there was more to that championship series that became forgotten over time:

    - Tommy Manotoc's mantra then was "One step backward, two steps forward." He never allowed his team to think of giving up.They didn't.

    -Toyota import Andy Fields was ranting over Toyota's defensive lapses in the final seconds that gave U/Tex a chance to rise from the grave. He screamed in agony at his teammates later on, telling them why they were celebrating when the game wasnt over yet. He was right, of course. Fat Lady Blues.

    -The series had a devastating effect on Fort Acuña, who, after a chain of events beginning with that championship game, would later commit suicide.
    I was glad to saw this game on TV during the PBA replays of Greatest games back in the mid 80s, I find it weird mga last seconds of the overtime game when Toyota didnt attempt to foul to stop the clock as time ran out, as indicated, its almost a minute when both teams failed to score anymore in OT.

    Fort Acuna got his dismissal from the coaching job for benching Jaworski in the first half of Game 3 of the 1980 All Filipino 3rd conference later that year, which rallied the tamaraws to a win and gave Crispa its only loss to the tournament.

  6. #6

    Re: Trivia on Big J

    Powerhouse Cast

    Where the Big J goes, the Toyota tamaraws follow. In the 1980 PBA Invitational Conference, the Tamaraws proved this theory beyond reasonable doubt.
    Despite the presence of foreign teams Nicholas Stoodley and Adidas France, Toyota, with Crispa, was installed as heavy favorite to win the PBA crown.
    And unmindful of their disastrous setback to U/tex Wranglers during the last conference, Toyota looked more than credible in living up to its billing as a title contender. Jaworski, along with imports Andrew Fields and Bruce King, Francis Arnaiz, Ramon Fernandez, Abe King, Arnie Tuadles and the rest of the Tamaraws sure fit the tag of being a powerhouse cast.
    Toyota got off to a quick start, winning two of its initial assignments, first against Adidas, 99-92, in what was described by Adidas coach Bill Sweek as a rugged game featuring the physical plays of Toyota. Then it rolled to its second straight win with a 112-107 victory against U/Tex.
    But in those two games, the Big J only scored 8 and 12 points, respectively for an average of 10 points out of the two games played, a far cry from his 23.8 average during the Open Conference.
    The Big J would continue to struggle on offense, averaging a mere 13 points per outing midway through the eliminations. As expected, Toyota also plunged down the standings, losing in succession against Nicholas Stoodley (113-106), Crispa (118-109), and Adidas France (104-100).
    But in his attempt to bail his team out of an imminent trouble, the Living Legend stepped on the pedal gas and put his game a notch higher in the homestretch of the elimination round.
    In succession, the Big J went on a scoring rampage in their next three games, putting in socres of 23, 29, and 26 points, respectively.
    Not surprisingly, the Tamaraws went on to win their last three assignments against U/Tex (118-116), Nicholas Stoodley (122-107), and Crispa (116-109) to formally barge into the finals of the invitational Conference.
    Came the Finals, Jaworski continued his scoring consistency, unfortunately, the theory didn't last long as despite Big J's heroics, the Tamaraws got blanked by Nicholas Stoodley, 2-0, to claim the Invitational title and became the first and so far the only foreign team to win a PBA title.
    Last edited by Emon74; 11-23-2016 at 07:09 AM.

  7. #7

    Re: Trivia on Big J

    Essence of Presence

    So huge Robert Jaworski's clout had been, that one couldnt easily ignore his presence. Especially in the decisive championship game.
    After missing Game 5 and 6 of the 1982 PBA Reinforced All-Filipino best of seven title series against San Miguel, Jaworski was still a doubtful starter for Toyota in the winner take all Game 7 due to a bothering hamstring injury.
    But the Super Corollas, who were able to survived extinction following their morale boosting 110-99 victory in Game 6, just couldnt afford to lose the all important game as that would very well mean kissing their bid for the title goodbye.
    Coach Ed Ocampo was then faced with a tough decision - to use Jaworski or not.
    The answer came in handy right before the opening buzzer of the final game. with a plan to catch the beermen off guard. Ocampo surprisingly employed the Big J as a starter for Toyota.
    The moved seemed to have affected the Beermen psychologically, if not physically. The ploy of fielding Jaworski sparingly seemed to have worked as it put San Miguel Beer out of its rhythm and took away its usually high scoring game.
    As the final buzzer sounded, the score read 101-95 in favor of Toyota as the Super Corollas annexed the Reinforced All-Filipino title for their eight championship in the pro league.
    Ocampo was later quote as saying that he used Jaworski in the game for the purpose of "loosening him up in case we need him in the closing minutes."
    Despite that, there was no need for Jaworski to be fielded back in the payoff period as the other Corollas took charge and came to the rescue of the team.
    In any case, the Big J finished the game without scoring a single basket. But his presence in the game alone, mattered most.

  8. #8

    Re: Trivia on Big J


    Manila, Sept. 17, 1998 - Legendary cager Sonny Jaworski, now a member of the Philippine Senate, returns to play with his old team Ginebra San Miguel when it faces Mobiline for the solo lead in the PBA Centennial Cup this Saturday in Butuan City.

    It's been more than a year since the Big J, now 52 years old, last played in a PBA game. The last time was May 26, 1997, the title-clinching Game 6 of the PBA All-Filipino Cup Finals between Ginebra and Purefoods, which Purefoods won.

    He told reporters last Friday that he was ready to play again.

    In Iloilo City last year, on his 51st birthday (March , Jaworski's game was described as near- flawless in 11 minutes of play. Jaworski played in 19 of Ginebra's 28 games in the 1997 All- Filipino Cup. He hasn't played in the league since.

  9. #9

    Re: Trivia on Big J


    Manila, Sept. 21, 1998- Very few people know it, but Senator Robert Jaworski, the most enduring legend in Philippine basketball, has been a fashion designer for 11 years. Jawo's Menswear and Clothing has been his business all those years, known only to his family and closest friends.

    That secret is now out of the closet, so to speak, thanks to Malaya's Nena Villanueva who spilled the beans in her column yesterday.

    "It's been there for all those years, but marketing and promotions were not in full blast. It's only now that I've decided to use my name. I know that we can produce world-class goods like jeans, slacks, polo shirts, sports and casual shorts, tees and caps," said the neophyte solon. "Our products are much cheaper than those signature items like Polo or Ralph Lauren."

    Still young-looking and with movie-star looks, Jaworski has big plans for his clothing line. "I plan to market these goods internationally, which is actually just a step away especially now with the Internet and other advancement in technology," he adds.

    Jawo's clothing line will be showcased at a special fashion show on October 4 at the Entertainment Plaza, SM City. But naturally, the players of Team Ginebra will parade down the ramp showing off their former coach's creations to full advantage. Top male models will also join the show.

  10. #10

    Re: Trivia on Big J

    A Dirty Player

    Prolific Crispa import Billy Ray Bates never knew what "real" PBA action was all about until he came face to face with the league's most popular player and his equally well-admired ballclub. The man - Robert Jaworski. The Team - Toyota Super Corollas.
    Back in the 1983 Reinforced Conference, the Redmanizers, under Tommy Manotoc, unveiled the high-scoring Bates as their import for the second conference campaign. Living up to his credentials, the 6-3 Bates proved to be unstoppable and a class by himself, even earning the monicker "The Black Superman" for his high flying act and all-around performance.
    And for being the most explosive import in the league then, it was only natural that the former Portland Trail Blazer would easily be a marked man by the opposition. It was no surprising therefore, when Toyota assigned to Jaworski, the Super Corollas' best defensive guard, the tough task of containing Bates when the two teams collide for the first time in the conference.
    Going into the game against Toyota, Bates was coming off a stiff fine given him by the PBA for his involvement in a slapping incident with SMB defensive man Anthony Dasalla. The Super Corollas, thinking of provoking Bates to distract his concentration on the game, as what had earlier occurred during the SMB-Crispa tussle, tried almost every dirty tactic there was in the books.
    With Jaworski taking care of the Black Superman, Bates was sent sprawling several times on the floor after getting all kinds of tackle in his drives to the basket. To no avail, Bates was his usual explosive self. He finished the game with a high of 50 points while leading Crispa to a rousing 122-110 victory against its archrival.
    Manotoc said his import could have done more damage had he not been hurt by Toyota's highly physical game. "takot na, ayaw na pumasok," Manotoc commented.
    As for Bates, he only had one thing to say about Toyota, Jaworski in particular. "He plays dirty," Bates remarked

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