Philippine Sports Trivia – About Filipino Champions in Sports and Games
Philippine Sports Trivia
That elusive Olympic gold medal!
The country's continuous search for its first Olympic gold medal does not necessarily mean that no Filipino could respond to the challenge. Some the world's finest bowlers, cue artists and boxers have Filipino blood running in their veins. Too bad, bowling and billiards are not included in the Olympiad. Boxing, on the other hand, has already produced two silver medals for the country.
It would probably take a few decades more before Filipinos could master all the games in the Olympics, which foreigners had introduced. Had Philippine indigenous sports been included in the Olympiad, the country could have been a consistent topnotch in the Olympic medal ranking.
Who could beat the Filipinos in mind puzzling and muscle flexing games like sipa, siato, patintero and moro-moro. These games, no doubt, are far more engaging than football and baseball and require more tactical skills and strategic planning.
While most modern sports were introduced to the Philippines only in the 20th century, Filipinos for centuries have developed and perfected games like arnis de mano, which could match Europe's fencing; dumog, wrestling; sikaran, martial arts; patintero or tubigan, football; siato, baseball; moro-moro, long jump; luksong baka, high jump; bato-bato, relay; tarumpo, dart; paligsahang kalabaw, equestrian; and dama, chess.
Among other native sports in the country are buchay, bunong braso, buwan buwan, culliot, kalahoyo, lanse, lubi lubi, luksong alon, luksong lubid, luksong palia, luksong tinik, palo sebo, paluan ng palayok, piko-piko, sangkayaw, sumping, sungka, takip silim, tsakad and tumbang preso.
It's only in the early 1900s that the Americans introduced sports like basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, golf, track and field and swimming. The Europeans later introduced football, polo and cricket. Ironically, the most popular sports in the Philippines today are billiards and bowling, maybe because height is not a requirement in these games.
The problem with other Olympic events such as sprint and swimming is that they do not have weight or height divisions. How could anyone determine who the fastest five-foot man in the world is, if all contenders stand over six feet tall? It is tempting to conclude that a Filipino fits as an answer to the question.
We believe, however, that despite a disadvantage in height, a Filipino would one day bring home that elusive Olympic gold medal. And the Filipino people would be there to cherish that festive moment.
Do You Know That…
Weather Makes Basketball Popular
Basketball is considered the number one spectators' event in the country simply because it is usually held under a roof (at the Araneta Coliseum for example). Baseball and football could not gain popularity because Filipino spectators are not willing to seat under the scorching sun or heavy rains. It must be noted, however, that young Filipinos are beginning to switch to new games, such as billiards and computer games, because of the limited number of basketball courts in the country.
Filipinos Brought Home 3 Olympic Medals in 1932
Three Filipino athletes brought home a bronze medal apiece from the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso won a bronze at the 200-meter breaststroke event while Simeon Toribio also clinched a bronze in the high jump event. Jose "Cely" Villanueva clinched the country's first boxing bronze medal in the bantamweight category.
Filipinos Won 9 Olympic Medals
Filipino athletes have brought home a total of 9 Olympic medals since the country began participating in the quadrennial event in 1924. Teofilo Yldefonso, a 200-breastroke swimmer, won the country's first bronze medal at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics and its second bronze at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. The country actually had 3 medals in 1932 when Simeon Torribio, a high jumper, added a bronze and bantamweight boxer Jose "Cely" Villanueva clinched another bronze.
Miguel White, who fought for the country in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, won a bronze in the 400-meter hurdles event. Featherweight boxer Anthony Villanueva, a son of Jose, won the country's first silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Villanueva actually lost a controversial decision to Russian Stanislav Stephaskin in their battle for the gold medal.
Tenpin player Arianne Cerdena won a gold in bowling at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but Cerdena's gold was not included in the medal tally since bowling was considered only as a demonstration sport. Light flyweight boxer Leopoldo Serantes, however, brought home a bronze from Seoul. Light flyweight boxer Roel Velasco won a bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. In taekwondo, bantamweight Stephen Fernandez and featherweight Bea Lucero brought home two bronze medals from Barcelona, but they were not included in the medal tally, since taekwondo was just counted as a demonstration sport then.
Roel's younger brother Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco won a silver at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Onyok lost a controversial decision to Bulgarian Daniel Bojilov in the light-flyweight finals.
RP Became Far Eastern Games Champion
At the inaugural Far Eastern Games in 1913, the Philippines beat China to clinch the championship. Only the two countries competed in the event in 1913 and 1915 while Japan joined in 1917 and Indonesia in 1934. From 1913 to 1934, China won 9 championships and the Philippines only one championship.
RP Placed 2nd at Asian Games
The Philippines placed second to Japan among 18 participating countries in 8 sports events at the 1954 Asian Games held in Manila. It also placed second behind Japan among 20 participating countries in 13 sports events at the 1958 Asian Games held in Tokyo.
Filipinos Won 56 Asiad Gold Medals
The Philippines has hauled in a total of 56 gold medals since it began participating in the 1951 New Delhi Asian Games. When the country hosted the 1954 Asian Games, Filipino athletes captured 14 gold medals, good enough to make the country second to Japan in the medal tally. It also placed second to Japan in the 1958 Tokyo Asiad when Filipino athletes brought home nine gold medals.
Filipino Boxers Won 5 Asiad Golds in 1954
When Manila hosted the Asian Games in 1954, five Filipino boxers won a gold medal each. These boxers were flyweight Ernesto Sajo, bantamweight Alejandro Ortuoste, lightweight Celedonio Espinosa, lightwelterweight Ernesto Porto, and middleweight Vicente Tunacao. Four decades later, three Filipino boxers brought home a gold medal each from the 1994 Hiroshima Asiad. These boxers were light flyweight Mansueto Velaco, Reynaldo Galido and Elias Recaido.
RP Placed 2nd in Sea Games
The Philippines placed second to Indonesia in the 1991 Southeast Asian Games held in Manila, with 91 gold, 62 silver and 84 bronze medals and nearly edged out Indonesia which got 92 gold medals. In 1983, the Philippines was also second behind Indonesia in the medal tally, after getting 49 gold medals. The Philippines began participating in Sea Games in November 1977, where it placed third behind Indonesia and Thailand with 31 gold medals.
Dumapong Won a Bronze in Paralympics
The Philippines got its first bronze medal in the Paralympic Games 2000 courtesy of weightlifter Angeline Dumapong who lifted 110 kilograms to win the bronze in the women's 82.5-kilogram division in Sydney, Australia in December 2000. Paralympics is a major sports competition participated in by differently-abled athletes from around the world and held just after the Olympics.
Velasco Won a Bronze at Goodwill Games
The Philippines got its first and only medal at the Goodwill Games in New York in July 1998 when flyweight Roel Velasco outclassed an American opponent to win the bronze.
PSA Named 11 Athletes of the Millennium
In the year 2000, the Philippines Sportswriters Association (PSA) named the 11 Filipino athletes of the millennium: Paeng Nepomuceno and Olivia Bong Coo for bowling; Pancho Villa, Gabriel Flash Elorde, Anthony Villanueva and Mansueto Velasco for boxing; Lydia de Vega, for track and field; Felicisimo Ampon, for tennis; Carlos Loyzaga, for basketball; Teofilo Yldefonso, for swimming; and Eugene Torre, for chess.
Filipinos Became World Sports Leaders
At least five Filipinos had headed international sports organizations. They are Florencio Campomanes, former president of International Chess Federation; Justiniano Montano, former president of World Boxing Council; Rudy Salud, former secretary-general of World Boxing Council; Gonzalo Puyat II, former president of International Amateur Basketball Federation; and Manuel Nieto, former president of Oriental Boxing Federation.
PBA Named 5 All-Time Greats
In January 1998, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) named the All-Time Mythical Five of Philippine basketball: Carlos Loyzaga in the 1950s, Narciso Bernardo in the 1960s, Robert Jaworski in the 1970s, Hector Calma in the 1980s and Alvin Patrimonio in the 1990s.
PSA Named 5 Athletes of the Century
In 1998, the Philippine Sportswriters Association named five athletes of the century: Lydia de Vega Mercado, Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde, Paeng Nepomuceno, Felicisimo Ampon and Carlos Loyzaga.
Filipino-Americans Became World Champions
Victoria Manalo Draves, a Filipino-American raised in San Francisco, won two Olympic gold medals in diving's springboard and platform events in 1948 for the United States. She had Filipino father and English mother and was married to her coach Lyle Draves.
Anthony Clark, a super heavy weight power lifter dubbed as the world's strongest man in 1995, was reportedly born in Pampanga province but grew up in Texas.
Elizabeth Punzalan, a daughter of one Dr. Ernesto Punsalan also of Pampanga, is a five-time national skating champion. Another world champion ice skater is Filipino-American Tai Babilonia.
Liz Masakayan is a many-time world champion in beach volleyball.
Roman Gabriel, the National Football League (NFL) MVP in 1969 had Filipino father and Irish mother. Mark Rivera was another NFL player. Filipino-Americans Bobby Balcena and Bobby Chouinard played for the US baseball major league.
Champion swimmer Jocelyn Enriquez is also half Filipino. Benny Agbayani played for the New York Mets' Slugger. Tiffany Roberts, a Filipino-American, was a part of the US women soccer team that won the gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Many Filipino boxers who went to the US eventually became world champions. They included Pancho Villa, Ceferino Garcia, Speedy Dado, Little Dado, Small Montana, and Dado Marino.
Philippines Hosted World Sports Events
The Philippines has hosted a number of international sports events. It hosted the Far Eastern Games in 1913, 1919, 1925 and 1934, the Asian Games in 1954 and the Southeast Asian Games in 1981 and 1991. It will host the Southeast Asian Games in 2005. In 1975, the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City was the venue of the infamous "Thrilla in Manila", the thrilling boxing bout between Heavyweight champions, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. In 1978, the country hosted the 1978 World Men's Basketball Championships. In 1992, the Chess Olympiad was held in Manila. The country hosted the World Grand Prix Women's Volleyball championships in 1999, 2000 and 2002.
Ali Fought in Quezon City
On October 1, 1975, the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City was the venue of the infamous "Thrilla in Manila", the thrilling boxing match between Heavyweight champions, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Manila also hosted other international sports events such as the Asian Games in 1954 and the Southeast Asian Games in 1981 and 1991.
Padilla Tamed Ali and Frazier
Carlos Padillar Jr., the first Filipino member of the International Association of Boxing Referees and Judges, was the referee in the Ali-Frazier bout held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City in 1975.
Babe Ruth Scored Homeruns in RP
Babe Ruth, the American baseball legend who had over 200 homeruns in his professional career, once played in the baseball field of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. In 1934, Ruth and another baseball great, Lou Gehrig, selected an All-Star team that toured Asia where they played 18 games. The All-Star selection stopped in the Philippines and played at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex from December 2 to December 9. Gehrig beat Ruth when he scored the first recorded homerun at the Rizal complex on December 2. Ruth scored the 2nd homerun on the same day and 4th homerun on December 9. The other players of the same selection who also scored homeruns at the Rizal complex were Earl Averill and C. Gehringer.
Garcia Was the Heaviest World Champion
Ceferino Garcia was the heaviest Filipino world-boxing champion. He captured the world middleweight title on October 2, 1939 when he knocked out Fred Apostoli in New York.
World's Largest Golf Event
The Guinness Book of World Records claimed that the biggest amateur golf tournament takes place in Baguio City, Philippines every year. Dubbed as the Fil-Am Golf Championship since 1949, the 72-hole golf tournament attracts close to 1,000 amateur golfers from all over the archipelago.
World's Largest Covered Coliseum
At the time it was completed in 1959, the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City was touted as the world's largest covered entertainment center. Otherwise known as the Big Dome, it has a floor area of 2,300 square meters and a seating capacity of 33,000 people.
The Freedom Ring Giant Amphitheater in the controversial Expo Filipino in Pampanga province is considered as the largest amphitheatre in the country. It can hold as many as 35,000 people at a single event. Expo Filipino, however, has yet to become fully operational.
Lope "Papa" Sarreal Produced 22 Champions
Lope "Papa" Sarreal, the first Filipino international boxing promoter, guided 22 world-boxing champions of various nationalities in his professional career. Among such champions was his son-in-law Flash Elorde.
Three Basketball Players Became Senators
Among the Filipino basketball players who later became members of the influential Senate are Ambrosio Padilla, Freddie Webb, and Robert Jaworski.
Nepomuceno was First Olympic Bet
David Nepomuceno, a sprinter and member of the US Navy, was the country's first ever representative in the 1924 Paris Olympiad.
Pancho Villa was Francisco Guilledo
Pancho Villa was baptized as Francisco Guilledo in Ilog, Negros Occidental on August 1, 1901. He adopted the name Pancho Villa after a famous Mexican revolutionary leader.
Speedy Dado Was Disdado Posadas
Speedy Dado, the former world flyweight-boxing champion, was baptized as Diosdado Posadas.
Small Montana was Benjamin Gan
Former world boxing champion Small Montana was baptized in the Philippines as Benjamin Gan. On November 30, 1938, Filipino fighters Small Montanao and Little Dado slugged it out for the vacant California world flyweight crown. Little Dado won.
There Are Winter Athletes in the Philippines
A tropical country that has never been covered by snow, the Philippines has produced athletes who can dance on ice. And they are not just ordinary dancers, but champion ice figure-skaters. The Philippine figure-skating team placed fourth in the 1999 World Recreational Team Championships held in San Jose, California. The Filipinos amassed 60 gold, 35 silver and 22 bronze medals to emerge fourth overall. It was a big feat for the Filipinos, considering that there were a total of 107 teams that participated in the event. Most of these teams came from cool countries like United States and Canada. In 1998, the Philippine team placed fifth overall in the same prestigious competition held in St. Louis, Missouri.
RP Ranked 175th in Football
The country's performance in football's World Cup, regarded as the planet's greatest spectator event, was almost non-existent. While the rest of the world were glued to television during the World Cup final between Brazil and Germany in June 2002, most Filipinos were not even aware that such an event existed. Former Senator Rene Saguisag noted that the Philippines was ranked 175th in world football. Montserrat was regarded as the world's worst team ranked at 202nd, after it lost to Bhutan in a match dubbed as "The Other Final" just before the start of Yokohama Final between Brazil and Germany, which the former won.
Guagua Little Leaguers 2nd in World Series
The Little League team composed of girls aged 12 years old and below from Pulungmasle in Guagua, Pampanga represented the Philippines and the Far East in the world series for four years from l994 to 1997. In 1996, the Guagua batters won second place at Alpenrose Softball Field in Portland, Oregon.
Mikee Won an Asiad Gold
Mikee Cojuangco, an actress, was 28 years old and had two sons when she won a gold medal and a silver medal in equestrian at the 2002 Busan Asiad.
Bong Coo is Most Bemedaled Filipina Athlete
Filipina bowler Bong Coo is the most bemadaled athlete in the Philippines. Her collection includes 37 gold, 23 silver and 16 bronze medals, which she won in her stints at the Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games and World and Asian championships. She brought home five gold medals from Asian Games alone.
Golez was a Former Boxing Champion
National Security Adviser Roilo Golez was unbeaten in 20 fights as a four-year amateur champion at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Pee Wee Was a Boxing Judge
Pasay Mayor Wenceslao Pee Wee Trinidad was a former boxing judge.
Rudy Salud Was First WBC Secretary General
Lawyer Rudy Salud was the first secretary general of the World Boxing Council (WBC).
Incentives Await Champions
Rich incentives await Filipino medallists. The Sports Incentives Law provides that Olympic gold medallists in individual events shall get cash awards of P5 million; silver medallists, P2.5 million; and bronze medallists, P1 million. Gold medallists at the Asian Games shall get cash bonuses of P1 million; silver medallists, P500,000; and bronze medallists, P100,000. At the Southeast Asian Games, gold medallists shall receive cash gifts of P100,000; silver medallists, P50,000; and bronze medallists, P10,000.
RP Placed 7th at World Chess Olympiad
The Philippines' best finish in the World Chess Olympiad was 7th place at the 1988 Greece Olympiad.
Roel Velasco Won a Bronze at Goodwill Games
The Philippines won its first-ever bronze medal at the Goodwill Games in 1998, courtesy of light-flyweight boxer Roel Velasco.
Baseball Was Introduced in 1898
There are historical accounts that the US Marines introduced baseball in Cavite immediately after they defeated the Spanish troops in 1898.
Teofilo Yldefonso Won 2 Olympic Medals
Teofilo Yldefonso, a swimmer from Piddig, Ilocos Norte, is the only Filipino who has won two Olympic medals. He won the bronze medals in the 200-meter breaststroke event at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics and at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
Haydee Brought Home 10 Asiad Medals
Haydee Coloso-Espino has a collection of 10 medals, which she claimed from the Asian Games in 1954, 1958 and 1962. These medals include three golds, five silvers and two bronzes.
Basketball Produced 4 Asiad Golds
Basketball produced four gold medals for the Philippines in the Asian Games. Filipino basketball players won these gold medals in four consecutive Asiads in 1951, 1954, 1958 and 1962.
RP Nearly Won Olympic Bronze in Basketball
The Philippine basketball team that placed fifth in the basketball event of the 1936 Olympic Games during the Nazi rule in Berlin, Germany, should have won at least a bronze medal, if not for a controversial ruling. Despite winning four of its five games, the country did not bring home any medal. It lost only to the United States, which eventually clinched the gold medal, but defeated Mexico, Estonia, Italy and Uruguay.
There Were 4 Filipino Grand Masters
The Philippines has produced four chess grandmasters: Rogelio Antonio, Jr., the late Rosendo Balinas, Eugene Torre and Bong Villamayor.
Cardoso Was Asia's First International Master
The first international master in Asia was Rodolfo Tan Cardoso, a Pangasinan born chess champion. Cardoso placed 5th in the world junior chess tournament in Toronto, Canada in 1957 and became the first Asian chess champion at the age of 25.
RP Produced 3 Asia's Sprint Queens
Before trackster Lydia de Vega of Bulacan province won gold medals in the 100-meter dash in the 1980s, two Filipino women had already been considered Asia's sprint queens, namely: Inocencia Solis in the 1950s and Mona Sulaiman in the 1960s. Amelita Alanes won a silver medal at the 1970 Bangkok Asiad.
Minoza and Espinosa Had Two Things in Common
Former world boxing champion Luisito Espinosa and international golfer Frankie Minoza had two things in common. Both of them were declared "Athletes of the Year" in 1998 and 1990.
Arianne Caoili Defeated a Grand Master
In March 2000, 14-year-old Arianne Caoili, who was in quest for her international master title, defeated Russian Grandmaster Vladimir Epishin, the top seed at the International Malaga Chess Open.
Bea Lucero Switched to Taekwondo
Bea Lucero, before becoming a broadcast journalist, had been a gymnast champion and an Olympic bronze medallist in taekwondo.
Amparo Lim was a Badminton Player
Former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Amparo Lim was a veteran Olympian who played badminton.
Eric Buhain was a Swimmer
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Eric Buhain was a swimmer who had participated in Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games.
Call of Nature Cost A Gold
According to author Jorge Afable, Filipino high jumper Simeon G. Toribio could have won the gold medal in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympiad if not only for the "call of nature." It was a grueling four-hour competition to jump over the bar raised at 6 feet and six inches high. Toribio, who once made the jump, failed to overcome it the second time because he was distressed by call of nature.
Toribio Joined Two Events in Olympics
Aside from the high jump event where he won a bronze medal in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, Simeon Toribo also participated in a six-hour marathon.
Greatest Asian Athlete
In 1930, high jumper Simeon Toribio was awarded the Helms World Trophy for being Asia's greatest athlete. He was also the "Filipino Field Athlete of the Half Century."
Simeon Toribio Became a Congressman
High Jumper Simeon Torribio, who won a bronze medal at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympiad, later represented Bohol province in Congress. He was a lawyer.
Miguel White Played for the Philippines
Hurdler Miguel White, who had an American father, won a bronze for the Philippines, at the 1936 Berlin Olympiad.
Ben Arda Played for the Masters
Ben Arda is considered the first Filipino golfer who has played at Masters Tournament and British Open in the 1970s.
Felicisimo Ampon was only 5 Feet Tall
Felicisimo Ampon, who won the Pan-American singles championship in Mexico in 1950, was dubbed as "The Mighty Mite" because he was barely five feet tall. He was also once considered the greatest tennis player in the world, pound for pound.
Father and Son Won Olympic Medals
Jose "Cely" Villanueva won a bronze in boxing's bantamweight division at the 1932 Lost Angeles Olympiad. Three decades later, his son Anthony won a silver in boxing's featherweight division at the 1964 Tokyo Olympiad.
Brothers Won Olympic Medals
Roel Velasco won a bronze in boxing's light-flyweight division at the 1992 Barcelona Olympiad. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympiad, his younger brother Mansueto or Onyok clinched a silver medal in the same weight division.
Arnis Players are Called Arnisadores
The Philippines introduced arnis or kali to the world. Today, arnis players are called arnisadores.
Negros Occidental Produced World Champions
Negros Occidental province is considered as a breeding ground for world boxing champions. Among the many top-caliber boxers who came from this province were Pancho Villa, Small Montano, Little Dado, Roberto Somodio, Elias Recaido, Dodie Boy Penalosa, Gerry Penalosa, and Roel and Mansueto Velasco.
There were 3 Rolandos Who Became Champions
At least three Rolandos became world-boxing champions. They are Rolando Navarette, Rolando Bohol, and Rolando Pascua.
There were Two Roberto Cruz Who Became Champions
In 1964, Roberto Cruz of Baguio City became the World Boxing Association (WBA) junior welterweight champion. In 1999, taekowondo-jin Roberto Cruz won the gold medal in the finweight division (56 kilograms) of the World Cup Taekwondo.
Pinoy Pugs Clinched 3 Boxing Golds in 1994 Asiad
One of the most memorable tales of achievement by Filipino athletes took place in the 1994 Asian Games held in Hiroshima, Japan. Three Filipino boxers – Mansueto Velasco, light flyweight; Reynaldo Galido, welterweight; and Elias Recaido Jr. – brought home three gold medals.
Caidic Won 2 Jones Cup
Allan Caidic has represented the Philippines as a player in four Asian Games (1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998) and as an assistant coach in the 2002 Asian Games. He was a part of the basketball team that won the Jones Cup in 1985 and 1998 and played a large part in clinching the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) championship in 1986.
Filipinas First Played Basketball
There are historical accounts that Filipino women first played basketball, which was introduced by the Americans in the country. It was said that Filipino men considered basketball as a game for girls only.
Filipinos Won 26 Asiad Medals in 2002
In the 2002 Asian Games held in Busan, South Korea, the 218 Filipino athletes brought home only 3 gold, 7 silver and 16 bronze medals. The Philippines finished 18th overall in the medal tally in a field of 44 nations.
PBA was the First in Asia
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), which came into existence in 1975, was the first professional basketball league in Asia.
RP Had the Biggest Lead in a Basketball Game
The Philippine team registered what could be the world's biggest lead in an amateur basketball game when it clobbered Brunei Darussalam, 160-19, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on July 2, 2000. The 141-point lead could be the biggest for any amateur basketball team since basketball was introduced in the Philippines by the Americans. During the game, the Philippine national team limited the Brunei squad to only 19 points. It later won the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Young Men's Tournament crown against Malaysia.
Filipinos Invented Yo-Yo
There was a tale that yo-yo originated in the Philippines, although other accounts claimed that it was first used in China or Greece. It was said that in the 1920s, a certain Pedro Flores moved to the US where he established Yo-Yo Company that manufactured yo-yo, which was a native toy in the Philippines.
Filipino Developed Game of the Generals
One Ronnie Pasola is credited for having developed or invented the "Game of the Generals", a board game that uses military strategy. It is said that Pasola first played the game in Makati in August 1967 but introduced it to the public in 1973.
Filipinos Were First Football Players in Asia
It was said that Filipinos were the first Asians who played football. The Philippine Football Federation (initially the Philippines Amateur Athletic Federation) was in fact founded as early as 1907. The first football match in Asia took place in the 1913 Manila Far Eastern Games where the Philippines defeated China 2-1.
Jabar Borrowed Backmann's Hook Shot
Kurt Bachmann Jr., a basketball player who had a German father, reportedly impressed Kareem Abdul Jabbar in an exhibition match between the US and the Philippines in 1954. Jabbar, who was known as Lew Alcindor then, reportedly borrowed Bachmann's hook shot.
Tallest Player in 1954 was 6'2"
Mariano Tolentino, a Caviteno with a height of 6 feet and two inches, was reportedly the tallest in the Philippine team that won the third place at the 1954 World Championships in Brazil.
Carlos Badion Introduced Bicycle Drive
Carlos Badion, who was named MVP of the first Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) championships held in Manila in 1960, popularized the bicycle drive and the jackknife layup.
Jaworski was the Oldest Professional Basketball Player
In 1998, Robert "Sonny" Jaworski was considered the oldest professional basketball player in the world. At 52, he was still donning his No. 7 jersey for Barangay Ginebra, probably the most popular team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). In that year, he played alongside his son Dudut Jaworski for the same team, much to the excitement of the crowd. No other professional player in the world his age has played competitive basketball. In the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers' Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired at 45. Most professional basketball players retire from the league before they are 35. Jaworski, on the other hand, was still playing at least 30 minutes a ball game in his 40s. In 1986, he set the record for playing the most number of minutes in a game, 58, in a Ginebra versus Manila Beer encounter, when he was 40 years old. He is the only player who has played in the PBA from the league's birth in 1975 up to the league's 25th year.
As a player, he won the Most Valuable Player in 1978 while playing for the fabled Toyota Corolla. He is listed as one of the PBA's 25 all-time greatest players and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the league.
Jaworski retired from the PBA in 1998 just before he assumed his new post as a senator of the Republic. He had served three decades of his life as a basketball player.
Feihl was the Tallest PBA Player
The tallest PBA player is Edward Joseph Feihl of TJ Hotdogs. Feihl who stands seven feet tall is half German. With his height, Feihl could bang bodies with the centers in the NBA. Feihl was part of the Philippine Centennial Team, which won third place in the 1998 Asian Games. Feihl is at least three inches taller than other PBA centers like Marlou Aquino, Paul Asi Taulava, James Walkvist, Andy Seigle and Bonel Balingit.
Meanwhile, the tallest basketball player who has played in the NBA is Gheorghe Muresan (7'7 or 2.31 m). But the tallest basketball player in the world was Suleiman Ali Nashnush (8'1/2" or 2.45 m) of the Libyan team. The tallest man in history was Robert Wadlow (8'11 or 2.72 m).
Kazmer was First White PBA Import
The fans of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), the world's second oldest professional basketball league, saw something unusual in the import-laden PBA Commissioner's Cup 2000.
For the past 20 years, the league saw African-American imports in action. Then came Ryan Fletcher, a white American, and the chosen import of Barangay Ginebra. Two weeks after Fletcher arrived, league newcomer Red Bull hired another white American, in the person of Jack Hartman. The first white import who landed at the PBA was John Kazmer who saw action for U-Tex in 1981.
Caidic Holds Highest Score Record
Allan Caidic holds the all-time, one-game individual high scoring record in the PBA for local players. Caidic scored 79 points while playing for Presto Tivoli against Ginebra on November 21, 1991. His 68 points broke the old scoring record of 71 points by Paul Alvarez in 1991 and the 64 points shared by William Adornado of U-Tex and Danny Florencio of Seven-Up. Florencio set the mark in 1977 and Adornado in 1980.
Harris Holds PBA Score Record
Former NBA player Tony Harris holds the all-time high scoring record in the PBA. As a Swift reinforcer, Harris scored 105 points to lead his team in defeating Ginebra, 151-147, in an out-of-town game held in Iloilo on October 10, 1992.
Highest PBA Score was Recorded in 1989
The highest combined points scored by the competing teams in a single game were recorded on November 2, 1989. In that game, the Tivolis beat Alaska, 175-159 in overtime behind Allan Caidic's 68 points. Both teams had a total of 334 points, the highest in any PBA game.
Caidic Had Most Three-Point Shots
The record of having the most number of three-point shots in a single game belongs to former Tivoli hotshot Allan Caidic. Caidic accomplished this feat when he sank in 17 three-point shots while playing for the Tivoli against Ginebra on November 21, 1991.
Cortez was First Rookie of the Year
Gil Cortez of Toyota was the first recipient of PBA's Rookie of the Year award. He received the award in 1976.
Adornado was First MVP
Bogs Adornado was chosen as the first recepient of PBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) plum in 1976.
Dionisio Scored First Basket
Joy Dionisio, who was playing for Concepcion-Carrier against Mariwasa-Noritake, made the first shot in the PBA. He scored a layup on April 9, 1975, at the Araneta Coliseum. But Mariwasa-Noritake went on to win the PBA's first game, 101-98, behind Cisco Oliver's 48 points.
Jones and Oliver were First PBA Imports
The first foreign players to have played in the PBA as imports were Byron Jones of Toyota and Cisco Oliver of Noritake.
Former PBA Import Became an NBA Coach
Keith Smart, who played for San Miguel at the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) Third Conference in 1989 became the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers' at the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 2003.
Mark Paragua was the Youngest International Master
In January 2000, the 16 years old Mark Paragua became the country's youngest International Master.
Siargao is a Surfing Destination
The Siargao Cup, which is held every October at Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte province, is a part of the Australian Championship Circuit.
There are Filipino Ice Hockey Players
The SM-Philippines Ice Hockey Team has been joining the World Hockey 5s Tournament since 1998.
4 PBA Coaches Had Grand Slam
Four PBA coaches were able to win a grand slam (three championship titles in a year) each for their respective teams. They are Baby Dalupan and Tommy Manotoc of Crispa Redmanizers, Norman Black of San Miguel Beer, and Tim Cone of Alaska Milk.
Basketball Player Became Governor
Former basketball Olympian Francisco Rabat later became governor of Davao province.
Bata is Four-Time World 8-Ball Champion
Least known among his exploits is the fact that Efren "Bata" Reyes is a four-time World 8-Ball champion.
Filipinos Joined World's Largest Synchronized Exercise
On February 16, 2003, some 107,000 Filipinos joined a 30-minute aerobics exercise supervised by the Department of Health (DOH) at Rizal Park in Manila, which could be the largest synchronized exercise in the world. Thousands of people also gathered at different venues in Cebu City and Davao City to participate in the exercise simultaneous with the Manila event. The new record broke the previous Guinness Book of World Records set at a park in Guadalajara, Mexico by some 38,633 people who joined the massive aerobics exercises in June 1998.
Significant Dates in RP Sports
The following are some of the most memorable dates in Philippines sports:
January 16, 1988 – Rolando Bohol beat a South Korean boxer to become the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
February 6, 1964 – Filipino boxer Anthony Villanueva won the country's first silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics.
February 14, 1998 – Melvin Magramo defeated a Thai challenger to retain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight crown.
February 15, 1969 – Rene Barrientos was declared World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight champion of the world in Tokyo, Japan.
February 20, 1997 – Gerry Penalosa beat Hiroshi Kawashima to become the World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight champion in Tokyo, Japan.
February 22, 1987 – Dodi "Boy" Penalosa , the older brother of Gerry Penalosa, beat a South Korean boxer to become the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion.
March 7, 1999 – Paeng Nepomuceno won the World Tenpin Masters championship in London, England.
March 16, 1960 – Gabriel "Flash" Elorde became a world champion in the 130-pound division on when he knocked out American Harold Gomes at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
March 20, 1964 – Roberto Cruz knocked out Raymundo Torres in the first round to clinch the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) junior welterweight championship in Los Angeles, California.
April 25, 1972 – Ben Villaflor dethroned Alfredo Marcano as the world junior lightweight champion at the age of 18 years old.
May 21, 2000 – Malcolm Tuñacao grabbed the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight crown from a Thai boxer in Bangkok.
June 18, 1923 – Pancho Villa, then 22, knocked out reigning world flyweight champion Jimmy Wilde of England in the seventh round at New York's Polo Grounds and became the first Asian world boxing champion.
July 18, 1985 – Ramon Brobio became the first triple winner of the 18th junior world golf championship held in San Diego, California.
August 1, 1950 – Salvador "Dado" Marino defeated Terry Allen to bag the world flyweight boxing championship.
August 8, 1984 – Paeng Nepomuceno won the International Tournament championship in Las Vegas, Nevada.
September 18, 1988 – Arianne Cerdena won a gold medal in bowling at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
September 21, 2002 – Kaye Cabalatungan won the ladies title at the 13th World Shoot Championship held in Pietersburg, South Africa.
September 27, 1983 – Frank Cedeno defeated Charlie Magri at Wembley Arena in London, England to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight championship.
October 1, 1975 – The Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City hosted the infamous "Thrilla in Manila", the thrilling boxing match between Heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
October 2, 1939 – Ceferino Garcia knocked out Fred Apostoli to become the new world middleweight champion in New York.
On October 4, 2002 – Paeng Nepomuceno and RJ Bautista won a gold medal in bowling's double event for men at the Asian Games held in Pusan, South Korea.
October 20, 1969 – Bernabe Villacampo defeated a Japanese opponent to bag the World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight title.
November 5, 1954 – The Philippine team beat the favored Uruguay team, 67-63, to clinch the third place in the World Basketball Championship held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
November 5, 1988 – Tacy Macalos defeated a South Korean boxer to clinch the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight title in a bout held in Manila.
November 8, 1999 – Athena Lee bagged the Open Ladies title at the 12th World Shoot Championships held in Cebu City. The Philippine ladies team also won the championship.
November 11, 1982 – Lydia de Vega won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the Asian Games held in New Delhi.
November 19, 1976 – Paeng Nepomuceno won his first World Cup in Tehran, Iran when he was only 19 years old.
November 2, 1996 – Paeng Nepomuceno won his fourth World Cup in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
November 5, 1954 – The Philippines beat the favored Uruguay team, 67-63, to clinch the third place at the World Basketball Championship held in Brazil.
December 3, 1998 – Manny Pacquiao knocked out a Thai champion in the 8th round of their bout in Bangkok to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title.
December 03, 1998 – Manny Pacquiao knocked out Chatchai Sasakul in the 8th round of their match in Bangkok to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title.
December 4, 1999 – Joma Gamboa knocked out a Japanese fighter in Nagoya, Japan to become the World Boxing Association (WBA) minimum weight (105 pounds) champion.
December 07, 1970 – Erbito Salavarria defeated a Thai opponent to win the WBC flyweight title.
December 14, 1968 – Pedro Adigue beat American Adolph Pruitt to bag the World Boxing Council (WBC) junior welterweight title.
December 19, 1990 – Rolando Pascua knocked out Chiquita Gonzalez in the sixth round to bag the World Boxing Council (WBC) light flyweight title.
December 21, 2001 – Time Magazine included Efren "Bata" Reyes in its roster world's best in sports and described him as the Philippines' "sole bona fide international sports superstar".