Tuesday, July 13, 1976

All that mattered for Crispa was to win (July 13, 1976)

The Daily Express broke down Crispa's title victory over Toyota in the 1976 PBA All-Filipino Conference finals in what became a turning point in the classic duel between the two archrivals.

All that mattered for Crispa was to win

By Ernesto Gonzales
Philippines Daily Express
Published Tuesday July 13, 1976

IN THE FABLED Crispa-Toyota rivalry, dyed-in-the-wool Crispans will never forget the last 12 minutes of Sunday's classic.

It was the stretch the Redmanizers almost bungled a 19-point lead that could have changed the fortunes of the series.

Coach Baby Dalupan just about summed up the Redmanizers' last-quarter plight: “With an almost insurmountable lead, the idea of a crown conquest danced in their heads. Their concentration was distracted. And when Toyota mounted a rally, they panicked.”

It was not really an ideal way to clinch a championship match. But this was a victory against Toyota and no matter how the final game was decided, Crispa's title march was nothing short of spectacular.

Sunday, July 11, 1976

Game 29: Crispa 101, Toyota 100 (July 11, 1976)

Crispa survived a last-ditch comeback by Toyota to clinch the 1976 PBA All-Filipino Conference crown with a 3-1 series victory. It was the Redmanizers' second straight title to tie the Comets, who captured the first two championships of the pro league. Toyota almost forced overtime but Ramon Fernandez missed one of his two free throws in the dying seconds.

Crispa nips Toyota, 101-100, wins crown

Philippines Daily Express
Published Monday July 12, 1976

Crispa blew an 18-point lead and had to scramble in the final quarter to eke out a pulsating 101-100 victory over Toyota and capture the All-Filipino Conference title of the Philippine Basketball Association last night.

Ramon Fernandez, who struck from under for 101-99 after William Adornado had given Crispa a 101-97 spread in the last 35 seconds, had the equalizer in his hand when he was fouled in the last eight seconds by Bernard Fabiosa.

But Fernandez missed the first throw as Toyota fans in the crowd of 32,000 let out a cry of dismay. That was it. He sank the second one, but Crispa dribbled away the remaining seconds for the victory that left many limp with excitement.

Thursday, July 8, 1976

Game 28: Crispa 121, Toyota 114 (July 8, 1976)

Undermanned Crispa rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and steal another game from Toyota to take a 2-1 lead in their 1976 PBA All-Filipino Conference finals series.

Crispa wins, nears title

Bulletin Today
Published Friday July 9, 1976

Crispa's “Magnificent 8” worked with chilling efficiency in the final quarter last night to turn back Toyota, 121-114, and needs only to win Sunday's fourth game in their best-of-five series to win the Philippine Basketball Association's All-Filipino Conference championship at the Araneta Coliseum.

The same hardy band of eight Redmanizers, the remnants of what before was a group of 12 first class hardcourt performers until decimated by injuries and suspensions, plucked victory from the jaws of defeat, outscoring the Comets, 35-21, in the final 12 minutes for a commanding 2-1 lead in their championship series.

The Comets appeared tantalizingly close to sweeping the Redmanizers off the court when they led by 11, 99-88, early in the final period on Francis Arnaiz and Rodolfo Segura's heroics.

But no sooner had they tasted their biggest lead for the evening when Crispa exploded on a 14-3 barrage to level at 102-all.

Tuesday, July 6, 1976

Game 27: Crispa 117, Toyota 112 (July 6, 1976)

Despite being decimated by the absence of several players led by Philip Cezar for various reasons, Crispa erased an early deficit and stunned Toyota their 1976 PBA All-Filipino Conference finals series at 1-1.

Crispa stops Toyota, 117-112

By Ding Marcelo
Bulletin Today
Published Wednesday July 7, 1976

Crispa, reduced to only eight men by injuries and suspensions, bucked this monumental deficiency last night and rolled back Toyota, 117-112, to even up their best-of-five series at one win apiece, thus assuring a fourth game for the All-Filipino PBA championship at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Redmanizers, a death sentence seemingly hanging over their heads, responded with surprising efficacy – erasing an early 11-point deficit and then outplayed the double-teaming Comets in the final quarter to score the longshot victory to the delight of some 25,000 spectators.

Cristino Calilan, a tiny, sometimes panicky Crispa reserve who played under the shadows of his more illustrious teammates, helped preserve the victory, intercepting three times in the last quarter and banging in four crucial charities to emerge part-hero in the error-filled contest.

Sunday, July 4, 1976

Game 26: Toyota 119, Crispa 115 (July 4, 1976)

Toyota overcame the lost of five players because of six personal fouls and stunned Crispa in Game 1 of the 1976 PBA All-Filipino Conference finals. The Comets took the series opener despite trailing by 12 points in the third quarter.

Toyota wins, 119 to 115

By Ding Marcelo
Bulletin Today
Published Monday July 5, 1976

Toyota lost five men on fouls and then while the jampacked crowd gasped in intense anticipation, a pair of over-the-hill campaigners delivered the bombs that gave the Comets a 119-115 victory over the Crispa Redmanizers and a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five series for the All-Filipino PBA conference championship at the Araneta Coliseum.

Durable Joaquin Rojas, Jr., in the twilight of a storied career, and Rolando Marcelo, vainly seeking the form that catapulted him into prominence many years ago, scored back-to-back hits when it most mattered, putting Toyota ahead, 119-113, and on top of their arch-rivals whom they have now beaten three straight times.

Half of the story was carved on the foul throw line where Crispa ignominiously missed six shots in the last five minutes, four of them by the usually unerring Fortunato Co, and the star of the banned film “Uhaw...” will never probably lived down those misses.

Friday, July 2, 1976

Cezar banned three games (July 2, 1976)

Philip Cezar was suspended for the first three games of the best-of-five series for the 1976 PBA All-Filipino title for punching Ramon Fernandez in the Crispa-Toyota semifinal game.

Cezar gets 3-game ban, P500-fine

Bulletin Today
Published Saturday July 3, 1976

Crispa ace center Philip Cezar was suspended for three playing days and fined P500 yesterday as the Philippine Basketball Association, acting in consultation with the Games and Amusements Board, acted swiftly on the punching incident involving Cezar and Comet Ramon Fernandez during the other night’s Crispa-Toyota game.

The PBA, through commissioner Leo Prieto, meted out the punishment after watching the video tape of the game and hearing the sides of the two players who confronted each other at the commissioner’s office.

Also present were representatives from the GAB.

The suspension means Cezar will not be able to play for his team in the first three games of the best-of-five series for the All-Filipino PBA championship which begins tomorrow.

Thursday, July 1, 1976

Game 25: Toyota 103, Crispa 101 (July 1, 1976)

Philip Cezar’s ejection for punching Ramon Fernandez marred Toyota’s win over Crispa in the final semifinal round game before their best-of-five showdown for the championship of the 1976 PBA All-Filipino Conference.

Toyota five nips Crispa, 103-101

By Ding Marcelo
Bulletin Today
Published Friday July 2, 1976

Toyota pulled Crispa down to earth last night, winning 103-101, but more importantly, the Comets may have gotten ahead of the favored Redmanizers in the betting odds after Crispa’s premier center Philip Cezar was ejected for throwing a punch at Ramon Fernandez.

Cezar, who drew a four-month suspension also for hitting Fernandez during the All-Philippine Championship, faces a possible three-game suspension and a fine of not less than P500 should he be proven guilty.

Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Leo Prieto will review the video tape of the incident this afternoon and then possibly call the persons involved to a confrontation before he metes out punishment.