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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Robert Jaworski's Lifetime Suspension

i originally posted this in mypba.com on June 3, 2005. Thanks to Atty. Percival Flores for some additional information.

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A lot of fans constantly ask the reason why Robert Jaworski and MERALCO teammate Alberto "Big Boy" Reynoso were suspended for life by the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) back in 1971. This happened in the MICAA tournament sometime December that year.

After a return stint from the 1971 ABC tournament held in Tokyo, Japan where the Philippines placed second, the game featured arch rivals Meralco and Crispa. In that game, with the Redmanizers ahead 65-50 going into the last twelve minutes of the second half, Reynoso was assessed a dubious charging foul on Rudy Kutch by referee Joe Obias. Reynoso went berserk and ran after the hapless Obias who got sideswiped by Jaworski near the Meralco bench. A mini-riot ensued and when the smoke cleared, both Jaworski and Reynoso got ejected from the game. The game wasn't completed and the Reddywatts eventually conceded the game the day after. The MICAA imposed a two-year suspension on the two while the BAP sanctioned Jaworski and Reynoso with a lifetime ban. Larry Mumar, who also joined the fray, was suspended for the balance of the tournament. Eventually, the Meralco team disbanded, allowing the Redmanizers to rule the MICAA without a solid opposition.



Jaworski and Reynoso eventually was reinstated through the intercession of then President Marcos assistant Gimo De Vera and found themselves a home with the Komatsu Comets - the pre-cursor of the Toyota Comets in the MICAA and the PBA. This franchise was also owned by the Silverios - who at that time, almost had a monopoly in the car-making industry as they ran Delta Motors Philippines, then the biggest car company in the country that distributes Toyota cars, MAN Diesel, and other heavy equipment. Silverio formed the lineup that included Francis Arnaiz, Fort Acuña and Orly Bauzon.

The Komatsu Comets eventually became the Toyota Comets in 1973 and in its maiden season in the MICAA, became the champions in the opening conference. The deep bench, plus the fact that they were able to get the best point guard (in Jaworski) and the best center (Reynoso) at that time made life miserable for their arch rivals Crispa, who by then, were also struggling and reeling from game-fixing charges by their key players like Rudy Kutch, Danny Florencio and Jun Papa.

Controversies likewise came out in the selection of the national team players back then. In 1970, there was almost a balance of Crispa and Meralco players in the lineup, totaling 9 all in all. In the 1971 ABC, there were 3 apiece. In the 1974 ABC and World Championship, 4 Toyota and 2 Crispa players were represented. But in the same year, in the Asian Games in Teheran, Iran, 6 Crispa players were chosen compared to 2 from Toyota. Robert Jaworski was a fixture in almost all of these national teams.

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