1973 PH basketball team reminisces memories of FIBA Asia conquest
MANILA, Philippines—The revered 1973 Philippine national team that won the Asian Confederation Championship was recognized during the annual Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Awards Night on Monday.
Members of that squad led by William “Bogs” Adornado and Robert Jaworski were recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award. While on the stage, each of the present members recounted their unforgettable experiences.
“Shin Dong-Pa [is] the best Asian basketball player at that time and tinalo din naming (we beat him),” Adornado recalled.
The Philippines, buoyed by a boisterous hometown crowd, beat South Korea, 90-78, in the championship game that earned the country a spot in the 1974 Fiba World Championships.
Rosalio “Yoyong” Martirez, a fleet-footed floor general, remembered having butterflies in his stomach before every game knowing how big the players are playing for.
“Bago maglaro kinakabahan ako, bago pa matulog, all the way siguro ang laro namin sa hapon ang tulog ko dalawang oras gusto ko manatili kaming malakas pagdating ng 5 ‘o clock at gusto ko may resulta na kung sino ang mananalo at matatalo,” Martirez said.
Martirez also said basketball during their time doesn’t differ from how the game is played today. He also offered some piece of advice.
“Pag basketball tatag dapat. Puso ang ilaban.”
The team’s other center present in during the two-hour rite, Manny Paner recalled the time when he scored 24 points.
“Sinuwerte ako noon at gumawa akong 24 points. Hanggang ngayon hindi ko makalimutan yon.”
Richie Melencio, son of Rogelio, and Leo Arnaiz, brother of heady guard Francis, were also there to receive the honor.