FIBA Hall of Fame for Caloy Loyzaga
I HAVE a question: How come the country’s legendary basketball great Carlos (Caloy) Loyzaga is not yet in the FIBA Hall of Fame, even on a posthumous basis?
Loyzaga, a bull-strong, do-everything 6-foot-3 cager (considered a big man during his era), was a rarity in that he could play all three positions – center, forward and guard – with equal efficiency.
On the international front, Loyzaga never tasted a single title defeat in any of his six championship appearances in Asian competitions, earning a gold medals in the 1951, 1954, 1958 and 1961 Asian Games and in the 1960 and 1963 Asian Basketball Confederation tournament, which is now called the FIBA Asia Championship. He owned a 41-3 win-loss record in those Asian sojourns.
Twice, he was a member of the Philippine national team to a pair of Summer Olympics – 1952 in Helsinki (Finland) and 1956 Melbourne (Australia).
Overall, Caloy saw action in 10 prestigious international competitions, the most ever by a Filipino cager, and posted a 58-14 mark during his illustrious stint with the PH national squad.
That included a 6-3 card during the 1954 World Basketball Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where the Nationals made the Asian continent proud with their bronze-medal finish.
Until now, even when the WBC has been renamed to FIBA Basketball World Cup, that podium finish by the Filipinos remains the highest ranking ever by an Asian country.
So far, the only Filipino member of the FIBA Hall is former basketball and football national team coach Dionisio Calvo, who was voted in the contributors’ category.
Calvo founded the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC), which is now known as the FIBA Asia Championship.
One other Filipino was nominated to the FIBA Hall of Fame but failed to get the necessary votes for induction.
His name: Gonzalo (Lito) Puyat II, the longest-serving president of the tradition-steeped Basketball Association of the Philippines from 1969 to 1995 and the FIBA president for a pair of terms from 1976 to 1984.
Puyat later became an honorary FIBA president after his tenure as the organization’s president.
With his exemplary accomplishments, not only at the Asian level but also in the world stage, one wonders why Loyzaga has not yet been inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.
The country’s GOAT, and one of Asia’s all-time bests, continues to knock at the FIBA Hall door.
Can’t the national basketball leadership do something about this issue?
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