(This is a continuation of Saturday’s Bare Eye column on the return of basketball’s living legend Carlos Loyzaga in Manila. A book on the life and exploits of “The Big Difference” was launched recently at San Beda College.—Ed)
IN THE speech read by his son Chito, King Caloy, among others things, said:
“Thanks to San Beda College, my alma mater, for giving me the chance to experience a Bedan education, and where I got the opportunity to showcase the talent I had for basketball. I believe that San Beda and I both made a good decision to work together and win numerous championship tournaments which marked our place in Philippine basketball history. To all the Benedictine priests I had the privilege to meet and share my school years with, particularly the reverend Fr. Benigno Benabare, who was the Dean of Discipline during my years in high school, to Abbot Emeritus Fr. Tarcisio Narciso and the incumbent Rector-President, Fr. Aloysius Maranan, my sincerest gratitude to all of you dear Fathers.
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“To my teammates, fellow players and friends present here today, we had a lot of competition on the hardcourt, some we played together, some we played against each other. I will forever cherish the friendship we developed outside the playing court after all the battles we went through. We respected and accepted each other no matter which school team or commercial team we played for. But the most treasured moments I will never forget are those when we had the opportunity to be members of the national team. This was where we saw our friendship solidify as we played our hearts out for flag and country. We will always be proud of our accomplishments hoping that the next generation of cagers will learn to appreciate the contributions we made for the love of the game.
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“During my retirement years in Australia, I never lost the passion and willingness to help in the development of basketball in our country. I hope that this book project we worked on will be able to influence further our athletes of today and inspire them even more to overcome all the challenges they may face in their respective fields of sport. If there is one thing I would like to share with the present basketball players—collegiate, commercial, professional, and to all Filipino athletes—it is this: ‘Play not for fame and glory, not for money, but play the game of basketball because you love the game. And to those who win the honor of gaining a spot on the national team, your love of country must surpass even your love of the sport.’
“To those who have supported this project, my fervent wish is for some of your resources to be channeled toward the upliftment of the standard and quality of Philippine sports by supporting a comprehensive training program for coaches. Exposure to both the fundamentals and innovations in sports science and education will give our future athletes a sound foundation for international competitions.
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“Lastly, to my beloved family. To my sweetie Vicky, for all the unconditional love that you have shared with me, for standing beside me and caring for me all these years, my love for you has only grown stronger. To all my children, my love and eternal gratitude. To Joey and his family, I want you to know that while we enjoyed your company in Australia, your mother and I decided that we will be spending the remaining years of our lives here in Manila, but our love and concern for you remain.”
“On a final note, I wish to apologize if I may not have been able to express everything that I would have liked to say to everyone here today. But you should know that my heart is filled with joy, thanksgiving and love for all that you have been to me. I deeply and sincerely appreciate the honor you have given me at this late stage of my life. This book far surpasses my hope of being remembered simply as a good father, a loyal friend and as someone who has always been passionate about basketball.”