Tuesday, May 4, 1976
Game 22: Crispa 105, Toyota 95 (May 4, 1976)
Philip Cezar marked his return from a lengthy suspension by leading Crispa to a win over Toyota in their first meeting of the 1976 PBA season. The match also saw the ejection of Abet Guidaben for throwing a punch at Ramon Fernandez in the second quarter.
Crispa trims Toyota, 105-95
By Ding Marcelo
Published Wednesday May 5, 1976
Crispa-Floro, playing an inspired, heads-up game, outgunned arch-rival Toyota, 105-95, last night and reasserted its reputation as the country’s top all-Filipino team in the first round wind-up of the Philippine Basketball Association tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Redmanizers, who trailed by as much as eight points early in the second quarter, bucked the disqualification of center Alberto Guidaben to score the prestige-laden victory that pulled them abreast with the Comets on top of the standings with identical 7-1 records.
Guidaben was thrown out barely 15 minutes of the game for throwing a punch at Comet Ramon Fernandez during a rebound scuffle underneath the Toyota goal.
Despite claims of Guidaben that he blocked out when Fernandez reportedly swung at him, the offense carried automatic suspension and a fine of not less than P500.
The fist-throwing incident was the only serious infraction in what otherwise was a fine, splendid contest that carried all the pulsating drama characteristic of the two team’s previous encounters.
But this time, the Redmanizers were always a tempo ahead of the Comets who failed to come up with a respectable match, man-for-man, especially in the area of the second stringers.
Philip Cezar, showing no signs whatsoever of the debilitating effects of four months inactivity and lack of competition following a suspension, responded with remarkable efficiency and clearly was the winner in his match-up with Fernandez, Toyota’s ace slotman.
Cezar rebounded with ferocity and banged in 16 points as he joined hands with William Adornado and Rodolfo Soriano whose game-long consistency with his long shots surprised the overflow crowd of some 25,000. The two finished with 21 points each.
Twice Toyota led by eight points, the last time at 35-27, but when the Redmanizers took the lead at 39-38 on an 18-5 explosion engineered by Cezar, Adornado and Soriano, there was no more looking back.
“I guess the boys were inspired,” Crispa coach Baby Dalupan said. “knowing that they were up against the tournament leader and their closest competitor for the title.”
Crispa enjoyed its biggest lead, a 14-pointer, 99-85, late in the final quarter and surprisingly, when no one had given Toyota a chance of coming out of its lethargy, Rodolfo Segura, Fernandez and Francis Arnaiz staged a rally cutting Crispa’s lead to only six, 101-95, two minutes left.
But the grinding pressure caused the Comets to miss six consecutive foul throws in the crucial last two minutes with Jaworski, Fortunato Acuna and Clarino missing two apiece.
The individual scores:
Crispa – 105
De la Cruz 1
Toyota – 95
Crispa 19 33 30 23 - 105
Toyota 22 25 23 25 - 95
Refs: I. Cahanding, E. Bernos