Tuesday, July 15, 1975
Game 3: Toyota 106, Crispa 104 (July 15, 1975)
A red-hot Francis Arnaiz and Ramon Fernandez led Toyota to its first win over the Bogs Adornado-less Crispa during the semifinals of the 1975 PBA first conference.
Toyota nips Crispa, 106-104
By Ding Marcelo
Published Wednesday July 16, 1975
Toyota, starring Francis Arnaiz, finally exploded Crispa's growing myth of invincibility last night, 106-104, and moved top within a game of earning a finals berth in the Philippine Basketball Association at the Araneta Coliseum.
Arnaiz, a spunky 5-10 former national team mainstay, riddled Crispa's taunted defense with 34 points including the final two that sealed the Redmanizer's fate, six seconds left, 106-102, giving the Comets their third straight victory in the semis.
The Redmanizers, who never led all throughout the tense, nerve-frazzling encounter, came tantalizingly close to overhauling a 15-point Toyota advantage going into the last nine minutes.
But even as it rallied to within two, 100-102, from an early 85-100 deficit, the once cool Crispa outfit gave in from the enormous pressure, allowing Toyota to get away with the victory which it fully deserved.
Almost ignored by the dazzling Crispa-Toyota match was U-Tex's 112-101 triumph over Royal Tru-Orange that kept its hopes alive for a finals spot.
Rudolf Kutch, Larry Mumar and Charles Walker, combining for 71 points, keyed the Weavers' first win after two successive losses. The defeat was the Orangemen's third straight.
Ramon Fernandez, who played under the shadows of Byron "Snake" Jones, successfully menaced Crispa's Alberto Guidaben and Philip Cezar in the slot while himself firing 18 points in his finest performance in the series so far.
Fernandez had taken over control of both boards when Jones successively racked up three straight fouls just after three minutes of the game, collected his fourth after 13 minutes and finally fouled out during the crucial Crispa rally in the final quarter.
"I think we played a better defense," said the exultant Toyota coach Dante Silverio, whose two previous attempts to upend the Redmanizers were met with resounding setbacks.
"Arnaiz played his usual consistent game while (Robert) Jaworski was above his normal game. Of course, Fernandez was a big factor," added Silverio.
Toyota's bruising defense lost it three men, including Cristino Reynoso and Fortunato Acuna, but it prompted the Redmanizers to attempt from the outside most of the time and missed.
"Our shooting failed us," commented coach Baby Dalupan, who had badly wanted this victory to give his team a psychological edge in the race for finals berth.
William Adornado, Crispa's ace gunner, was badly missed this time and Dalupan himself conceded that it might have been a different story had he played.
It is still uncertain whether Adornado wil be in harness in tomorrow's continuation of the series. He missed his team's previous match with Royal Tru-Orange due to a pulled muscle incurred in a contest with U-Tex in the opening of the semis.
A driving lay-up by Jaworski, 1:00 left, pulled his team ahead by four, 104-100, but Bernard Fabiosa quickly narrowed it down with charities off Jaworski himself, 102-104. Then Arnaiz iced the victory by sinking two pressure-laden charities on Fabiosa's infraction before Alfredo Hubalde ended the match with another pair of free throws.
The individual scores:
Toyota - 106
C. Reynoso 6
Crispa - 104
Sta. Maria 8
Dela Cruz 1