Thursday, July 31, 1975

Game 8: Toyota 117, Crispa 94 (July 31, 1975)

Toyota became the PBA's first champion after a convincing victory over Crispa in Game 4 of the 1975 First Conference finals. A 29-point performance by Ompong Segura and another strong showing by Byron "Snake" Jones allowed the Comets to win the best-of-five series, 3-1.

Toyota drubs Crispa, wins PBA crown

By Ding Marcelo
Bulletin Today
Published Friday August 1, 1975

Toyota, working like a mechanical monster of destruction, blasted Crispa mercilessly last night, 117-94, to win the Philippine Basketball Association first conference championship before a crowd of some 30,000 at the Araneta Coliseum.

Playing their usual swarming, sticky defense, and gifted with an unusual high percentage in their offense, the Comets ran down the Redmanizers who battled grimly but folded uncharacteristically when Toyota unleashed a crippling attack in the third quarter.

Not since Crispa became a first rate team in the old MICAA in the late 60s had it been beaten so convincingly and by such a margin in a championship game. So complete, in fact, was the rout, that the trauma of the loss could haunt Crispa for some time to come.

Banners and streamers unfurled and confetti fluttered in mid-air, while the partisan crowd drowned out blistering thunderstorm outside in a gesture of welcome to the Comets who are back on top of Philippine basketball.

To a man, the Comets responded brilliantly in what the situation demanded and there was almost no doubting of the outcome as early as right after the third quarter when the Redmanizer defense sagged allowing Toyota to post its first big lead, 76-63.

As time wore on points galloped from one unbelievable level to a higher one before it finally reached its peak at 114-86, a 28-pointer, which coach Dante Silverio himself could hardly believe.

Rodolfo Segura, in a widely-acclaimed performance, could not have chosen a better occasion to unshackle himself from the chains of mediocrity as he led the Toyota attack with 29 points, most of them from afar, and shared stellar billing with lethal Byron "Snake" Jones, who again controlled the rebounds and matched Robert Jaworski's 20-point output.

Also shining was Francis Arnaiz who adrontly maneuvered the backcourt and fired 19 points and Cristino Reynoso who finished with 14 points while tiny Joaquin Rojas Jr. in the twilight of a brilliant career, recalled his old venom and infused confusion in Crispa's ranks in the final quarter.

"We knew we would win," said a jubilant Silverio, "but the marin was unbelievable."

He gave credit to his boys' inspiring performance who actually made it three in a row over the Redmanizers, in itself a rare achievement.

Coach Baby Dalupan of Crispa acknowledged the superiority of Toyota.

"How can you win against a powerful team like that. They could not seem to do anything wrong," he said.

Seven ties and six lead changes in the first quarter preceded Crispa's collapse as Segura signalled the start of Toyota's breakaway with consecutive baskets that put the Comets on top to stay, 31-28.

Though the contest ended in restrained animosity, there were moments when it appeared to be going out of hand until referee Eriberto Cruz doused water on it by ejecting Reynaldo Franco for intentionally tripping Jones.

Arnaiz was likewise thrown out of the match later, this time for doing the same on Bernard Fabiosa. Minimum fine for such an offense, according to the PBA commissioner, is P100.

Toyota's victory duplicated its epochal victory in the 1973 MICAA when it won the title on its first try.

The individual scores:

Toyota - 117
Segura 29
Jones 20
Jaworski 20
Arnaiz 19
C. Reynoso 14
Fernandez 6
Bauzon 5
Clarino 4
Rojas 0

Crispa - 96
Co 22
Soriano 17
Hubalde 15
Cezar 10
Adornado 10
Fabiosa 7
Franco 5
Sta. Maria 2
Leano 2
De la Cruz 2
Calilan 0

Toyota  25  30  35  27  -  117
Crispa  25  24  24  23  -  96

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