There have been a number of brother acts in Philippine basketball history. What is a rare, though, are the father-and-son combinations. Do not wonder why since they are at least a generation apart in terms of age.
Some fathers were better than their sons at the peak of their roundball careers. In other instances, however, the sons rose above their dads.
On this subject, the Loyzagas always come to mind first.
Carlos Loyzaga, undisputedly the greatest Filipino cager ever, produced two sons that also carved a name in PH basketball.
Monikered “The Great Difference” by legendary sportscaster Willie Hernandez for his ability to change the course of a game, Loyzaga not only dominated the local competitions in the 1950s and early 1960s with the San Beda College Red Lions in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Yco Painters in the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) but he also hogged the headlines in the international scene as the primary star of numerous Philippine national teams.
The 6-3 Loyzaga’s most significant achievement came in
1954 when he powered the Philippines to the bronze medal during the
2nd World Basketball Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Until now,
it is the best-ever finish by an Asian country in WBC history.
Caloy averaged 16.4 points in nine games to wind up as the No. 3 leading scorer in the quadrennial tournament. He also was named to the tournament’s five-man Mythical Team.
A winner throughout his roundball life, Loyzaga earned a championship in each of his four trips to the Asian Games – 1951 in New Delhi (India), 1954 in Manila, 1958 in Tokyo (Japan) and 1961 in Jakarta (Indonesia).
Loyzaga also saw action in a pair of Summer Olympics – 1952 in Helsinki (Finland) and 1956 in Melbourne (Australia). He hung up his jersey in 1964.
Loyzaga went into coaching after his playing days were over. Locally, the San Jose, Mindoro Oriental native piloted the Yco Painters. In the international front, he mentored the national teams to the 1967 Asian Basketball Confederation (now known as FIBA Asia) tournament in Seoul, South Korea, where the Filipinos took the crown, and the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
By the late 1970s and early 1980s, Loyzaga had already sent two daughters (Bing and Teresa) to the entertainment world and a pair of sons to the professional Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) ranks.
Caloy, who has resided in Australia for more than three decades now, turns 81 this month.
His sons, Joaquin (Chito) Loyzaga and Ernesto (Joey) Loyzaga, were cut from the same cloth but neither came close to their father’s enormous skills.
Chito played collegiate ball at San Beda then hooked up with Yco in the commercial MICAA league before finally turning professional in 1981. The 6-2 frontliner/backcourter appeared with Tanduay (Yco’s pro team), Toyota, Great Taste and Ginebra in 12 seasons (1981-93) in the professional Philippine Basketball Association.
Chito, who turns 53 this month, registered averages of 9.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 566 PBA games. He is now the acting executive director of the Philippine Sports Commission, the official who is in charge of the government agency’s day-to-day operations.
Three years younger than Chito, Joey saw action with Magnolia, Swift, Shell, Tondeña-Ginebra and Alaska in 14 PBA campaigns (1984-2000). The pigeon-chested 6-1 swingman hit at a 7.7-point clip in 462 contests.
Aside from the Loyzagas, there are other father-son tandems in Philippine basketball.
From the 1950s and 1960s were Olympians Lauro Mumar and Adriano Papa Jr., whose sons became basketball athletes themselves two or three decades later.
Lauro (The Fox) Mumar attended San Carlos College in Cebu before moving over to Manila to play for Colegio de San Juan de Letran, where he bannered the much-dreaded “Murder, Inc.” team that romped away with the 1950 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title.
The wily 6-1 frontliner also starred for Manila Ports Terminal, which grabbed the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) championship during his time.
Internationally, Bay Mumar saw action for the Philippine team on four occasions. He donned the national colors during the 1948 London Olympics, 1951 New Delhi Asian Games, 1954 Manila Asian Games and 1954 World Basketball Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he served as the captain of the bronze medal-winning squad.
Mumar eventually turned to coaching not only in the local commercial leagues but also in the international front.
Following his lone stint as the PH head coach in the 1969 Asian Basketball Confederation (now known as FIBA Asia) tournament in Bangkok, Thailand where the Filipinos settled for third place, Mumar went to India to teach the game to the new kids on the Asian block.
In gratitude, the Indians made him their national team coach as well.
Among the players who saw action in the 1969 ABC sojourn was Mumar’s own son, Lawrence. A lean, left-handed guard with a mean perimeter-shooting touch, the 5-11 Larry starred for the University of Santo Tomas in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).
Following his collegiate tenure, he performed in the MICAA then turned professional in 1975 with the birth of the PBA, where he appeared with Universal Textile, Seven-Up, Filmanbank, CDCP and Great Taste in seven seasons (1975-81). Larry, who averaged 14.0 points in 231 PBA games, died in October 2001 at the age of 54 due to lung cancer.
Adriano Papa Jr. was another national teamer whose son also took up basketball.
Jun Papa, a 5-11 forward out of National University, was a feared long-tom artist during his MICAA days with Ysmael Steel, Yco and Crispa. He eventually appeared in six PBA seasons (1975-80) with Mariwasa, Filmanbank and Great Taste, averaging 17.5 points in 200 contests.
Papa, who earned the moniker “The Rifleman” for his unerring outside shot, also was a member of five PH national units – 1966 Bangkok Asian Games, 1967 Seoul ABC, 1968 Mexico Olympics, 1970 Bangkok Asian Games and 1972 Munich Olympics.
Jun, who passed away in 2005 at the age of 60, had a son, Addie, who donned the De La Salle uniform in the UAAP competitions from 1989-91. The Green Archers, who were then bannered by top-flight center Zandro (Jun) Limpot, copped the UAAP crown in 1989 and 1990.
Note: It would have been three straight titles for Addie
and De La Salle if not for the ridiculous decision of the UAAP Board
to uphold Far Eastern University’s protest, which was centered around
the table officials’ inadvertent mistake of allowing Green Archers guard
Tonyboy Espinosa to play for about 10 seconds past his fifth and disqualifying
foul during the final minutes of Game Two of the best-of-three 1991
finals. The Archers were up 1-0 and assured of another championship
as they also had Game Two in the bag when FEU filed a protest after
the game. Obviously, it was the table officials’ fault but the honorable
and cerebral UAAP Board chose to punish La Salle by ordering a Game
Two replay. As a matter of principle, La Salle refused to show up for
the replay and later forfeited Game Three as well. The Tamaraws thus
were handed the UAAP title that season through a boardroom coup. In
succeeding years, the FIBA and Basketball Association of
Addie Papa actually was a marginal player for the Green Archers. Nowhere was he near his dad’s greatness. Addie never made the pro grade.
From the sixties were two other Olympians and future Senators – Freddie Webb and Robert (Sonny) Jaworski – who produced sons that followed their basketball footsteps.
Who does not know Speedy Freddie and his son Jason?
Freddie hogged the limelight during the 1960s and 1970s while Jason plied his trade during the 1990s and early 2000s.
At his prime, Freddie was one of the most outstanding fastbreak finishers in local hoopla.
The cerebral 5-11 playmaker from Colegio de San Juan de Letran spent his best years with the fabled Yco Painters in the post-graduate Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) circuit during the sixties and seventies. He joined the Don Manolo Elizalde-owned franchise in 1963 after completing his collegiate eligibility with the Knights.
Described by the late sportscaster par excellence Willie Hernandez as “mas mabilis pa kaysa sa metro ng taksi” for his blinding speed, Freddie also made it to the Philippine national team on four occasions – 1969 Asian Basketball Confederation (now known as FIBA Asia) tournament (Bangkok), 1970 Asian Games (Bangkok), 1971 ABC tournament (Tokyo) and 1972 Olympics (Munich).
Webb, who has 25 percent English blood, also suited up for Tanduay in the professional Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) league from 1976-78, averaging 12.6 points in 124 games, for a total of 15 years with the Elizalde club.
During the time, the popular athlete with the mestizo looks also served as a councilor of Pasay City for eight years (1971-78) and moonlighted as a television/movie actor with comedy roles as his specialty.
After his playing career was over, Freddie went into PBA coaching – first with Tanduay then with Shell. By the mid-1980s, he had gone into national politics on a full-time basis.
Freddie was successful in his bid for the lone House of Representatives seat from Parañaque City during the 1987 elections. In 1992, he won a six-year term as a Senator.
Jason Webb, Freddie’s son, climbed into national basketball spotlight after donning the De La Salle colors in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) from 1991-95.
The 6-foot guard, however, failed to earn a single UAAP championship ring despite a distinguished five-year tenure with the Green Archers.
Jason performed adequately with Tanduay in the Philippine Basketball League, but he was hardly productive in six seasons (1997-2001, 2003) with Sta. Lucia Realty and Tanduay in the PBA as he averaged a measly 3.2 points and 2.4 assists in 274 contests. Jason normed no more than 3.7 scores in any season and owned a single-game high of just 19 points.
While he was no great shakes during his pro basketball career, Jason has found his niche in television broadcasting and politics.
For the last several years, he has been doing the color commentary during the PBA’s game telecasts.
Jason, who turns 38 in September, was also triumphant in his first crack at a political position, getting elected as a councilor of Parañaque City in last year’s polls.
A famous 1960s contemporary of Freddie Webb also sent his own son to the professional ranks three decades later.
Robert (Sonny) Jaworski, the “Big J” and “Living Legend” to many hoop fans, coached and played with Robert (Dodot) Jaworski Jr. once upon a time as they joined the elite list of seven father-son combinations in the PBA’s 36-year existence.
It must be remembered that the PBA was established only in 1975, becoming Asia’s first play-for-pay basketball circuit following a disagreement with the Basketball Association of the Philippines, the local basketball-governing organization at the time that dealt purely with amateur players.
It was only in 1990 that the FIBA, the world’s basketball-governing body that sanctions such international events as the Summer Olympics and World Basketball Championship, instituted the “open basketball” player policy, which no longer distinguishes an amateur from a professional.
Just as their respective fathers were contemporaries during the 1960s, Jason Webb and Robert (Dodot) Jaworski Jr. also crossed paths in the 1990s.
Jason and Dodot played against each other in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) during classic De La Salle-Ateneo clashes, before later joining the PBA ranks themselves.
Perhaps the most famous father-son combination in local basketball annals is that of the Jaworski tandem – if only because of their accomplishments following their roundball retirement. Sonny was elected to the Senate in 1998 and Dodot became a member of the House of Representatives (from Pasig City) in 2004.
The son of a Polish father and a Filipino mother, the elder Jaworski starred for the University of the East during the mid-sixties, powering the Red Warriors to a number of UAAP titles.
While still in college, the wide-bodied 6-foot guard with unusually huge hands and feet was recruited to play for the Yco Painters in the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA). The Baguio City-born Jaworski, together with another UAAP superstar from the University of Santo Tomas, Danilo Florencio, also were selected to the Philippine national team that saw action during the 1966 Bangkok Asian Games and 1967 Seoul Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) tournament, where the country beat host South Korea to capture the gold medal.
The Big J would also wear the national colors during the 1968 Mexico Olympics, 1969 Bangkok ABC tournament, 1970 Bangkok Asian Games, 1971 Tokyo ABC tournament, 1973 Manila ABC tournament, 1974 Tehran Asian Games, and the 1974 World Basketball Championship in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
After a brief stint with YCO in the local commercial league, Jaworski transferred to the rival Meralco Reddy Kilowatts. In 1973, he was picked to banner the newly-formed Komatsu Comets unit (which was composed mostly of players from the disbanded Meralco team) following his reinstatement from an 18-month BAP suspension that was brought about by a hardcourt brawl involving him and Alberto (Big Boy) Reynoso against referee Jose Obias during the 1971 MICAA finals between the Reddy Kilowatts and Crispa Redmanizers.
Under the Toyota banner, Jaworski hopped along with the Comets when the PBA was established in 1975. With the disbandment of the Toyota franchise after nine seasons, he hooked up with the Gilbey’s Gin in 1984 then became its playing coach when the club changed its name to Ginebra San Miguel a year later. Jaworski held the dual positions with the Palanca franchise until 1998 when he gave up basketball to run for a Senate seat during the national polls.
Dodot, the 65-year-old Jaworski’s son, spent his early schooling at Brent School in Baguio City. He later latched on with Ateneo de Manila University and saw action with the Blue Eagles in the UAAP in 1993 and 1994.
In the PBA, the 6-1 Dodot played under his father at Ginebra/Gordon’s Gin from 1996 to 1998. With no other post-college experience, he had an uneventful stint pro stint, hitting at a measly 2.2-point clip in 101 games.
Dodot, who turns 40 in October, hung up his jersey after his dad’s Senate election in 1998 and became Sonny’s chief of staff during his six-year tenure. In 2004, the younger Jaworski himself ran for a political post, winning a three-year term as Pasig City’s lone Congressman. Dodot took a crack at Pasig City’s mayoral post three years later but was beaten in a close count.
Although a generation part, the Jaworskis were the only father-son tandem in PBA history that actually had the opportunity to play together as both were on the same Ginebra roster from 1996-98.
Throughout those three seasons, not once did Sonny set foot on the hardwood to play alongside Dodot. Why Sonny did not do so, no one really knows.
In the current era, there have been five PBA players whose fathers preceded them in the pro league – Florendo (Renren) Ritualo Jr., John Billy Mamaril, Paolo Hubalde, Santiago (Junjun) Cabatu Jr., and Richard Yee.
Their dads, of course, are Florendo Ritualo, Romulo (Mama) Mamaril, Alfredo (Freddie) Hubalde, Santiago (Sonny) Cabatu, and Jesus Migalbin.
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