The birth of the PBA ushered in a new era in Philippine basketball. We bade goodbye to Asian basketball dominance; but interest in the sport continued, thanks to the healthy rivalry between Crispa and Toyota.
Relive those pioneering days in the PBA when Jawo battled Atoy Co and company in jam-packed crowds at the Araneta Coliseum.
In the 1971 Asian Basketball Conference (ABC) in Tokyo, the Philippines once again took the bridesmaid role, losing the crown to host Japan. Clearly, basketball supremacy in Asia was no longer ours. Teams from Korea, Japan, Israel and a looming giant, China, were now seriously contending, not to mention the Mideast countries with their taller, heftier breed of bullies.
In 1972, the Philippines got some measure of revenge by upending the Japanese team in the Summer Olympics in Germany. We ended up 13th among the world’s best, but the consolation victory over Japan made us – however unofficially – Asia’s best for the period.
In 1973, the ABC wars were once again held in Manila. With the entire nation rallying behind the team, William Adornado would take the Most Outstanding Player Award and lead the Philippine quintet to the championship. Along with upcoming stars Ramon ‘El Presidente’ Fernandez, Francis Arnaiz…
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