He led the Philippines to a bronze medal in FIBA’s flagship event.
When it comes to representing the Philippine men’s basketball team on the international stage, no player has accomplished more than Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga.
With the man they called the Big Difference leading the way, Philippines was able to build a dynasty in the Asian Games, having won four straight gold medals from 1951 to 1962. Loyzaga also led the charge in 1960 and 1963 as the Filipino hoopers conquered the FIBA Asia Championships.
But of course, the most amazing accomplishment of King Caloy came in 1954 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when the Philippine contingent finished third overall in the FIBA World Cup. To this day, no Asian team has reached that high in the global hoops summit. For that tournament, the 6-foot-3 Filipino center was also selected to the event’s All-Star Five after averaging an impressive 16.4 points per contest.
Loyzaga’s achievements got the ultimate recognition as he was posthumously inducted to the FIBA Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He was named as one of the Hall entrants last June, with the formal induction ceremony fittingly held here in Manila.
Accepting the honor on behalf of the Filipino basketball icon was his son Chito Loyzaga.
“May Carlos Loyzaga’s love for basketball and his love for our country, the Philippines, continue to inspire athletes of today and those in the generations to come,” the PBA great said during his speech.
Taking after his father, Chito also made a name for himself as a terrific cager. After a 12-year pro career, he was named among the 40 Greatest Players in PBA History. His father, however was on a different level altogether.
Joining Caloy in the FIBA Hall of Fame Class of 2023 were other international basketball legends like Yao Ming of China, Penny Taylor of Australia, and Wlamir Marques of Brazil.