Filipino legend Caloy Loyzaga inducted into Fiba Hall of Fame
MANILA, Philippines–The man considered by many as the greatest Filipino basketball player of all time is finally getting his due recognition on the world stage.
Caloy Loyzaga was posthumously inducted into the Fiba Hall of Fame, joining 11 players and coaches who were also named to this year’s class by the world governing body on Friday.
Loyzaga got the nod for his starring role in the Philippines’ bronze medal run in the 1954 World Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which remains as the best finish not only by the country but by an Asian nation.
“On behalf of the Loyzaga family, we would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to everyone who contributed, assisted and supported the induction of Carlos ‘Caloy’ M. Loyzaga as the first Filipino basketball player to the Fiba Hall of Fame. Maraming Salamat! Mabuhay ang Atletang Pilipino!” his son, PBA legend Chito Loyzaga, said.
It will be the second time that a Filipino will join an elite company of players, coaches and contributors who made a name for themselves on the international cage scene.
The stellar FIBA Hall of Fame Class of 2023 is here! 🏀 🌟The ceremony will take place in Manila on 23 August, 2 days before the tip-off of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 🏆
Dionisio Calvo, who served as player, coach and official, was among the first inductees in 2007 as a contributor.
NBA great Yao Ming leads the 2023 class that included Spaniard Amaya Valdemoro, Japanese Yuko Oga, Australian Penny Taylor, American Katrina McClain, Brazilian Wlamir Marques, Indonesian Sonny Hendrawan, Angolan Angelo Monteiro dos Santos Victoriano and Georgian Zurab Sakandelidze as players and French Valerie Garnier and Italian Alessandro Gamba as coaches.
The induction ceremony is set Aug. 23 following the Fiba Congress in Manila.
Nicknamed “The Great Difference,” Loyzaga was among the most-decorated cagers ever, leading San Beda to championships in the NCAA and Yco in the defunct Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA).
But it was that feat in the 1954 World Championship that is still talked about to this day, with Loyzaga averaging 16.4 points and being named to the tournament’s Mythical Five.
He also coached the Philippines to victory over host South Korea in the 1967 Asian Basketball Confederation (now-Fiba Asia) title with a team and a 13th place finish in the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
Loyzaga passed away in January 2016 at the age of 85.