Crispa delivered the knockout blow on Toyota to capture the 1976 PBA Second Conference crown. The 3-1 series victory gave the Redmanizers their third consecutive crown, all at the expense of the Silver Tamaraws.
Crispa beats Toyota, 103-94; wins PBA title
By Ding Marcelo
Published Friday November 19, 1976
Crispa played its characteristic deadly game last night and brought down Toyota, 103-94, to win the Philippine Basketball Association second conference championship before another banner crowd of some 30,000 at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Redmanizers, brought to this fourth game of a best-of-five titular series with Toyota by virtue of the Silver Tamaraws' 108-98 victory Tuesday night, controlled the game after erasing an early 1-6 deficit.
There was no fire it seemed from the Silver Tamaraws whose comeback from a 0-2 deficit had placed them on even odds with the Redmanizers for this decisive fourth game.
This time they were scattered by the solid Crispa defense. Though the Redmanizers committed several errors, such infractions had none of the severity of Francis Arnaiz's miscue in which the ace Toyota guard passed a throw in right into the hands of Redmanizer Reynaldo Franco that handed Crispa a 27-19 bubble at the end of the first quarter.
The error seemed to pressage a bad evening for Toyota as the Redmanizers, reportedly irked and at the same time fired up by adverse reports that they could only win with the help of shaky officiating, roared to five 12-point leads in the final quarter, the last at 96-84 with Alberto Guidaben doing the honors.
Guidaben's 10-point effort was complimented with four crucial rebounds in the final quarter and his performance was capped with an unusually solid defense against the slithery Ramon Fernandez who could only shake his head from Guidaben's effective harassing tactics.
So near-perfect was Guidaben's performance that coach Baby Dalupan could only exclaim, “Magnificent, magnificent. That guy is simply fantastic tonight.”
Alfredo Hubalde shared scoring honors with Fortunato Co, Jr., whose off-and-on outbursts netted him 17 points like Hubalde.
Though it was far from the plus 30 he made in two of the first three games of the series, Dalupan also complimented him in the defense department in which he said Co shone.
Royal Tru-Orange rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to turn back U-Tex, 115-111, to win their battle for third place. The victory gave the Orangemen a 3-1 edge.
“In the final analysis, it was the determination of the boys, and of course the breaks and maybe, seguro, swerte lang talaga,” Dalupan said as his boys engaged in a bit of horseplay at the dugout by pouring water, not champagne, on each other.
Coach Dante Silverio, on the other hand, could not hide his contempt at the referees whose officiating he decried were as bad as the first two games which they lost.
“It was as bad as the first two games,” he said of referees Igmidio Cahanding and Remigio Bartolome who only two nights ago were the same persons whom he praised for good officiating when his team won.
“No, only sometimes,” said Howard Smith when asked whether officiating was bad.
Byron “Snake” Jones commented that “Crispa played a harder, more determined game. They were more organized,” he said.
So certain was Crispa of victory that with still two minutes to go, the score at 100-90, banners proclaiming the Redmanizers champions were unfurled, confetti released in the air, and Arnaiz was overheard to express his congratulations to Dalupan and team manager Danny Floro during a Toyota throw-in near the bench.
It was the third consecutive PBA championship for Crispa, making it the winningest ball club in the country past Toyota which it tied with two titles each prior to tonight's game.
The Redmanizers previously won the All-Philippine championship and the All-Filipino title at first conference, while Toyota bagged the first and second conferences of the PBA in its maiden season last year.
The closest that Toyota could come to after that 27-19 first quarter score was within two points, 37-39, although when the Redmanizers threatened to pull away from 51-44, the Silver Tamaraws narrowed it down to three points twice, the last at 56-59.
From there, there was no stopping the Redmanizers, who posted a 10-point spread, 82-72, at the start of the final quarter before increasing it to 12 for the foirst time at 88-76 on a steal by Bernard Fabiosa 8 minutes to go.
Crispa – 103
P. Cezar 3
Toyota – 94
Crispa 27 24 28 24 – 103
Toyota 19 25 28 22 – 94
Refs: I. Cahanding, R. Bartolome