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Monday, February 20, 2012

Toyota's Best Years


Toyota's best years in its 9-year stint in the league were in 1978 and 1982.  What were the common scenarios that prevailed in both years that made the franchise difficult to stop during these two years? Here's a couple of samplings:

1. MVP - 1978 was Robert Jaworski's best year ever in the league, averaging close to triple double figures in points, rebounds and assists. He missed the double figure average in rebounds by a hair,
something like 0.2. Mon Fernandez was the MVP in 1982, arguably, his second best year ever in the league. No one can deny that 1984 was the hallmark year of El Presidente, averaging triple double figures in points and rebounds and missed out the assists mark by 0.1. But 1982 was the changing of the guard, so to speak, when Fernandez was now being considered as the real leader of the team after several years of being known as a Jaworski-led squad. Of course, it didn't help that the Big J suffered multiple injuries left and right that year forcing him to miss a couple of games and allowing Fernandez to take charge.

2. Rookies and New Players - Danny Florencio, Estoy Estrada, Pol Herrera, Emer Legaspi, Pablo Javier and Ed Merced were the new players of the 1978 team when the season began. Terry Saldaña, Tim Coloso, Ed Cordero and Ricky Relosa were the new picks of the team in 1982. This allowed Toyota's bench to keep up with Crispa's equally deep bench, and helped them significantly in spelling their superstars, particularly Jaworski, who by that time was already 36 years old.

3. Imports - Carlos Terry and Bruce "Sky" KIng were the banner imports of 1978, Andy Fields and Donnie Ray Koonce played for the 1982 team. You can't get any better than these combination, two of the most lethal combos ever to be formed in the league. One footnote though, Toyota was "lucky" to have been allowed to play both imports simultaneously while Crispa had the misfortune of their being allowed to play one at a time. Crispa's import in the 1982 Reinforced, Glenn Hagan, was also 2 inches shorter compared to Toyota's 6'3 Koonce. 

4. Coaches - coincidentally, these were Dante Silverio and Ed Ocampo's penultimate years in the league before leaving the franchise. Silverio's second to the last year was in 1978, since he eventually resigned in 1979 for reasons mentioned in the first post. Ocampo's second to the last year with Toyota was in 1982, when the franchise disbanded at the end of the 1983 season.

5. Crispa's title-less campaign - there were only 2 years in Crispa's history that the team didn't win any championship in one season. These were the same two seasons that Toyota was extra dominant in the league. Goes to show that the two teams were really heads and shoulders above their counterparts back then.

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