Sunday, November 16, 1975
Game 13: Toyota 98, Crispa 96 (Nov. 16, 1975)
Fights involving players and fans marred Toyota’s victory in Game 1 of the 1975 PBA Second Conference finals. Supporters of both teams trade blows during the fourth quarter, causing a 20-minute delay.
Toyota takes 1st game in a riot-marred match
By Al Mendoza
Published Monday November 17, 1975
Toyota held on to a 98-96 victory over arch-rival Crispa-Floro last night in a bruising, bloody contest that opened their best-of-five series for the Philippine Basketball Association’s second conference championship before a jampacked crowd of at the 32,000-seat Araneta Coliseum.
Last night’s match was an eye-opener for the organizers: security measures were sadly wanting.
The match was so bruising that forays scuffles did not only involve players but also spectators, whose own rumble disrupted the match for about 20 minutes before police officers restored order.
Tension actually started to grip the game late in the third quarter when Toyota’s Stan Cherry felled Crispa’s Rodolfo Soriano with an unintentional above during a driving play by Soriano.
Some eight minutes later in the fourth quarter, hell broke loose when Soriano bloodied the nose of Comet Ramon Fernandez in another rebound scramble.
Robert Jaworski, who was right behind Soriano during the incident, compounded the situation when he threw a right cross to Soriano’s right shoulder, precipitating what could have been the bloodiest rumble in the infant PBA league.
Jaworski and Soriano were thrown out and Prieto said the two faced the prospect of receiving severe punishments. The minimum penalty to be slapped on them would be a P500-fine for each and a one-game suspension.
Prieto said he and other PBA officials would review the video tape of the game today to determine the punishments to be meted to both players - and others who might have been involved in the ensuing commotion.
“I’m sorry it happened,” lamented Prieto. “But what can I do? I cannot blame the police officers to for not checking the scuffles on time. With a thousand people around, rumbles are really hard to contain.”
Meantime, Fernandez’s bloodied nose was reported to be broken, according to Toyota coach Dante Silverio.
The rumble involving spectators started when a spectator, believed to be a Toyota fan, flipped a one-peso coin at the back of the seated Soriano moments after the latter hit the Comet ace.
Soriano ignored the thing but William Adornado rose and was met by taunting spectators, flashing an obscene gesture with fingers at the Crispa bench.
Crispa coach Baby Dalupan was also on the verge of losing his temper and tried to confront the heckling spectator but was pacified by Prieto.
Adornado even leaped onto the railings in an attempt to challenge the taunting spectator to a fistfight but was promptly admonished to stop by his teammates.
Then the commotion involving the spectators began.
First, they traded punches. Then, rattan seats flew all over the place. This went for some 20 minutes before police officers could restore order.
Lest in the din of the bloody contest was the 125-122 victory by Royal Tru-Orange over Noritake in their best-of-five series for third place.
When play resumed in the Crispa-Toyota match, player involvement were visibly controlled.
The Comets were tehn leading by eight points, 86-78, and appeared headed to a trouble-free victory until Fortunato Co caught fire to power Crispa to within one point, 96-97, 10 ticks left.
He missed his second free throw and Crispa had still time to tie the count but Bernard Fabiosa threw a wild pass to Philip Cezar following a personal rebound, which doomed the Redmanizers.
The individual scores:
Toyota - 98
C. Reynoso 2
Crispa - 96
De la Cruz 0
Toyota 24 27 24 23 - 98
Crispa 27 18 23 28 - 96
Fouled out: Toyota - Arnaiz, C. Reynoso; Crispa - Soriano
Refs: E. Cruz, F. Santamaria