Toyota defeated Crispa for the second time in as many nights to move a win shy of capturing the 1975 PBA First Conference championship. Import Byron "Snake" Jones frustrated the Redmanizers anew with his dominating presence on both ends.
Toyota trims Crispa, 109-105
Seeks clincher tomorrow
By Ding Marcelo
Published Wednesday July 30, 1975
Toyota humbled Crispa for the second straight time, 109-105, in a bruising contest last night and moved within a game of clinching their best-of-five Philippine Basketball Association championship series at the Araneta Coliseum.
Tempers were hard to contain during the hard, rugged contest and the game almost blew beyond control when a near scuffle between Comet Byron "Snake" Jones and Redmanizer Alfredo Hubalde broke out after Hubalde drove in, five seconds left, and was met by the towering American's blocking arms.
Quick response by police officers averted a free-for-all although when play resumed tension was visibly reflected between the two teams with Fortunato Co, Rey Franco and Robert Jaworski touching off another heated exchange with their two own verbal tussles.
No one was thrown out and Hubalde continued to make two charities off Jones before the Comets ran out the remaining time and gave Toyota a significant 2-1, win-loss edge over the Redmanizers.
Dante Silverio's boys go for the clincher tomorrow in game No. 4 with Aug. 1 reserved for a possible fifth and final match.
U-Tex also inched its way nearer third place by subduing Royal Tru-Orange, 121-118, for its second straight win.
It did not come as a surprise if Jones became the object of Crispa's ire after the American import agai came off with the decisive rebound and follow-up basket, 109-103, 60 seconds left, to place the contest beyond recall.
The six-foot-eight one-time San Francisco University standout proved to be the singular factor that has enabled Toyota to repulse repeated rallies by Crispa especially early in the final quarter when the Redmanizers battled the Comets into the contest's three of nine deadlocks, the last one at 91-all.
Consecutive baskets by Cristino Reynoso and Francis Arnaiz and another four-point splurge by Jaworski aided by Jones' control of both boards, gave the Comets a comfortable 101-95 spread, 5:00 left.
Baby Dalupan's dribblers came off with their own 8-4 bomb to narrow the gap to two, 103-105, before Jones sandwiched a lone charity by Arnaiz to give the Comets an irreversible 109-103 lead.
Then came the near riot.
Philip Cezar, who performed with remarkable courage in Crispa's losing 88-87 stand the other night, sat out most of the fourth quarter owing to five fouls and finally got his sixth off Jaworski only moments after he was sent in.
Although Guidaben performed well in Cezar's place, his errors in the early match, almost negated this as two of his five errors resulted in Toyota conversions that gave the Comets their widest spread a 10-pointer, at 29-19, in the first quarter.
The individual scores:
Toyota - 109
Reynoso C. 20
Crispa - 105
De la Cruz 2
Sta. Maria 0
Toyota 33 27 25 24 - 109
Crispa 25 28 30 22 - 105