Sunday, July 11, 1976
Game 29: Crispa 101, Toyota 100 (July 11, 1976)
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.
THE COMETS, given up for lost after Crispa had put on a show of power in the third quarter, fought back from 91-73 behind the shooting of Fernandez, Robert Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz and Rodolfo Segura and kept inching up as the game wore on.
But when Jaworski, who scored 25 points for the Comets, fouled out off Cristino Calilan in the last 1:38 and Adornado put in that jumper for 101-97, it looked like a lost cause for Toyota, until Fernandez came through with that undergoal blast.
It was Crispa’s third consecutive victory obver Toyota after losing the opener of their best-of-five title series and the fifth in eight meetings with the Comets this season. Toyota, however, still leads, 15-14, in that personal war with the Redmanizers.
Francis Arnaiz’s six consecutive foul throw misses before the third quarter ended clearly illustrated Toyota’s dismal performance from the field and from the foul line.
SHOOTING LAPSES and passing errors in the first half robbed Toyota of a chance on top after racing to an early 4-0 lead.
With Alfredo Guidaben, Freddie Hubalde and Rey Pages scoring from outside, the Redmanizers built a nine-point lead, 27-18, only to lose the upperhand when the Comets came up with a 20-8 blast, starring Robert Jaworski and Elias Tolentino.
But just like in the opening stretch, the Comets fell into a slump, scoring only a field goal – by Aurelio Clarino – while the Redmanizers banged in 14 points on the shooting of Adornado and Fortunato Co to put Crispa ahead once again, 49-40.
And then Toyota ace center Ramon Fernandez committed his fourth foul off a driving Philip Cezar after he had scored on the return play. Cezar sank both throws for 51-42. Crispa went on to take the half, 55-46.
Crispa tops Toyota, wins PBA crown
Published Monday July 12, 1976
Crispa nearly lost out in the battle of composure last night but held grimly on to subdue a spirited Toyota, 101-100, in a pulse pounding cage drama to claim the first All-Filipino conference championship of the Philippine Basketball Association.
Close to 30,000 shrieking spectators at the Araneta Coliseum had given up all hope for the Comets when Crispa led by 18 going into the final quarter. But when everyone had thought the game was all over, the Comets jumped the gun on the surprising complacent Redmanizers with a ferocious rally creating the most dramatic finish ever in the four games the two teams had played in this best-of-five series.
Down 91-73, the Comets, led by Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Rodolfo Segura and Francis Arnaiz engineered one of the most devastating comebacks by an underdog team, coming to within two points thrice, the last at 101-99, before they themselves wilted from the tremendous pressure.
The gangling 6-foot-4 Fernandez muffed a game-tying charity, 8 seconds left, that could have sent the match into overtime as he, like Arnaiz before him, failed to find the mark from the foul line.
He sunk the next shot for the final count and the Redmanizers run out the clock.
The Comets’ horrifying misses on the foul line contributed immensely to their own downfall. At one instance, Arnaiz missed six consecutive in the second quarter while Fernandez had two flubs in the decisive fourth period.
It was, however, more than a dignified match Toyota put up and though they entered the court with hardly a chance to win after Crispa made it two-in-row, the fight they put up will long be remembered by spectators and the Crispa team alike.
Imagine coming up from 18 points down and giving Crispa all the jitters and you’ll have a match to remember.
It is pertinent to note that the Redmanizers were limited to only 10 points in the final quarter and had not William Adornado sank that pressure-filled jumper in the final 60 seconds a fifth and deciding game would have ensued.
Crispa led for most of the way although at one instance in the second period, Toyota flexed its muscle and led the Redmanizers by three, 38-35.
That was the last time they ever held the lead.
A 14-2 bomb was all that Crispa needed to assert their superiority, 49-40 before the Redmanizers went on to post their biggest lead, an 18-pointer, 87-69, late in the third quarter.
Crispa – 101
Toyota – 100
Quarter: 25-18, 55-46, 91-73, 101-100
Ref: F. Santarina, J. Obias