Good old Crispa days
HANGING on the living room wall of the old Celis residence in Teresa Village near Project 6 in Quezon City is a huge, sepia-toned photograph of the Crispa team taken just after a championship victory decades ago.
The caption said the photo was taken on the night the Redmanizers won the Philippine National Seniors title back on April 18, 1971.
Featured prominently in the almost half-a-century-old photo are two of the most popular basketball personalities at that time, amiable and well-loved team owner Danny Floro and the country’s most brilliant coach, Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan.
The two were surrounded by the winningest players at the time, headed by Danny Florencio, sharp-shooting Adriano Papa Jr., Bogs Adornado and Rudolf Kutch.
In the late ’60s Dalupan still had some hair while Floro had always been cute and chubby with a smiling face.
The other players in the photo circa 1971 were Ernie de Leon, who later became a PBA referee, Epoy Alcantara, Danny Picache, imports Tom Cowart and Paul Scranton, Rudy Soriano and Domingo “Jun” Celis.
In the making of Dalupan’s book “The Maestro of Philippine Basketball” and having the history of Dalupan and the Crispa team behind me, I was invited by my friend Tessa Jazmines and Dalupan’s daughter Cecile to write the two chapters on the coach’s Crispa days.
Actually, I followed Dalupan’s coaching career but I wasn’t sure I could finish my story.
Unfortunately, with age, I have become rather indolent and am no longer motivated to write lengthy pieces.
One of the anecdotes I would have liked writing about was when after a game, he held the two referees by their shoulders and banged their heads together (pinag-untog).
Yes, Dalupan is strong and gutsy, even if he’s lean and skinny.
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