Philippine Basketball in Review (Part 5 – The 80s Usher in A New Breed)

The 80s ushered in exciting new faces. The likes of Alvin Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Benjie Paras, Jojo Lastimosa and many more upstarts would finally rise to challenge the old guards. But the stars of the 70s would prove to be a durable lot, with the Bobby Jaworski, Mon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben still being able to dish out valuable lessons to the young ones.

Color My World

Toyota’s performance as a team started to unravel in the early 80s. In one championship match against Crispa in 1980, Toyota Coach Fort Acuna benched Bobby Jaworski for reasons still unknown to the public. At the halftime break, Acuna was fired by the Toyota management, paving the way to Jaworski’s return. Inspired by the return of their team captain, the team responded with a win, giving Crispa its only loss in the tournament. Fort Acuna would not be able to recover from this episode, and would die of an apparent suicide a year later.

2ball1 Arnaiz leads the Toyota fastbreak.

In 1981, Crispa would tangle with Toyota in the PBA Open Conference finals. Toyota would take this one with the help of import Andy Fields. But this would be the last song-and-dance finals for the two arch-rivals. Toyota would take 3 more championships in 1981 and 82, but there was a…

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