Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crispa Controversies

1. The reported power struggle between Co and Cezar in one side and Guidaben and Hubalde in the other. We all know that Co and Cezar were best buddies while Guidaben and Hubalde bonded well together, especially when they both became born-again Christians. Initially, the prime leaders of the team were #6 and #18 until #5 and #10 slowly took the leadership mantle in the latter years. Guidaben particularly was very vocal of his displeasure regarding the off-court "transactions" between Co and Cezar as he felt that they were not only getting the recognition and respect in the team, they were also taking home a lot of moolah. Hubalde, the softspoken, reticent individual in him, chose not to make any comments but it was clear that he sided with Guidaben being his best buddy. Bernie Fabiosa on the other hand, I wasn't familiar in terms of his relationship with any of the two pairs.

2. The release of Bogs Adornado without compensation to U/Tex. This was the biggest news back then although speculations weren't that aplenty because of Martial Law (when news were suppressed back then). Adornado went on a hiatus for four years dating back 1976 until 1980 after suffering a near career-ending injury. When he was placed back in the Crispa lineup sometime 1979 or 1980 , he didn't seem to have the same oomph and aamph that he possessed when shooting those deadly jumpers. I wouldn't know the real story but does it have to do with Co and Cezar's increasing powerplay in the Redmanizers' camp that made Floro and Dalupan decide to ship Adornado? And what I can't believe is that Floro allowed the move without getting anyone in return - not a Lim Eng Beng, Jimmy Noblezada, Ricky Pineda or any relative talent that the Weavers / Wranglers had back then. As a 13 year old teen at that time, I just couldn't understand this.

3. The removal of Baby Dalupan as head coach in 1983 and subsequently, the entry of Tommy Manotoc. We all know that Dalupan and Floro go a long way back, and are considered as blood brothers. We also know that Floro is politically aligned with the Marcoses, and that Manotoc is the presidential son-in-law. We also remember that Manotoc had always wanted to coach the Redmanizers due to the immense talent that the team possessed. Was Floro "pressured" by MalacaƱang to fire Dalupan and replace him with the defensive coach? Yes, Dalupan just came off a fruitless 1982 campaign when his team floundered without a title, only the second in the team's history after 1978. But it doesn't exactly mean that Dalupan was a has-been coach, especially noting that Baby piloted Great Taste and Purefoods to multiple titles thereafter. There lies the rub and I can't fathom Floro giving up on his best friend without a sound reason. Or a political reason. :-)

4. The immediate resignation of Tommy Manotoc entering the playoffs of the 1984 All Filipino Conference. He eventually turned over the reins to his trusted lieutenant Narciso Bernardo, then Crispa's assistant coach. The move was unprecedented and unexpected as Manotoc had a winning streak back then, copping three straight titles with Crispa in his maiden year with the franchise and was ahead in the standings at the end of the eliminations when he copped out. His official reason was due to health but we still see a 55 year old Manotoc today currently playing in the British Senior Open where he is part of the leaderboard at the end of the first round. Hmmm, health reasons? He was just 35 back then. 

5. The supposed acquisition of Ricardo Brown by Crispa only to be "stolen" from him by Ignacio Gotao and Great Taste. In 1983, Brown already had a verbal agreement with Danny Floro for him to play for Crispa after a falling out with Ron Jacobs in the NCC team. But lo and behold, when the 1983 season began, Brown was already wearing the cream jersey of Great Taste instead of the familiar green and whites of Crispa. According to Pauly from the old phorum, the PBA had a hand on this where Brown was disallowed to play for Crispa but given latitude if he played for a different team, which turned out to be Great Taste. Parity in competitions? I wouldn't know but I couldn't imagine having the Quick Brown Fox being part of an already solid Crispa lineup back then under Manotoc. That team could have been unbeatable already.

6. How Crispa was able to collar 4 of the top APCOR players, Bay Cristobal, Padim Israel, Yoyoy Villamin and Mon Cruz in 1981 without any hassle remain to be a mystery. Although there was no PBA draft at that time, this was a mastery of a move that I can't understand why only Crispa and Toyota could pull through - meaning get the top players in the amateurs and making them suit up their teams without any restrictions. Of course, U/Tex had a coup of sorts themselves when they landed two top amateur cagers from FEU and sister team Solid Mills, Renato "Etok" Lobo and Anthony Dasalla. But this was understandable since both Lobo and Dasalla came from their amateur farm team. Cristobal and company came from a disbanded APCOR unit of Herminio Disini without any relation at all to the Floros. Toyota got Pablo Javier, Leopoldo Herrera, Emer Legaspi and Ed Merced from their amateur farm team Frigidaire back in 1978 but magically came out with Tim Coloso, Ed Cordero, Ricky Relosa and APCOR's Terry SaldaƱa in 1982. Why does it seem that the big teams get the big players? I was actually expecting Federico "Bokyo" Lauchengco to play for Toyota but was surprised to see him donning the San Miguel uniform in 1981 or 1982. And Angelito "Amang" Ladores, the sweet shooting player from Frigidaire in the amateurs, never got to suit up for Toyota as well. Hmmm, I don't seem to understand.

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