On July 22, 1980, Toyota and Crispa met in a down-the-wire match to determine who would advance to the PBA First Conference Finals against U-Tex at the Araneta Coliseum.
Toyota import, Andrew Fields, delivered the winning points that night, scoring the last three that shoved the Tamaraws to a 102-100 lead coming from a 99-100 deficit with about seven seconds to go.
Crispa had a chance to tie or win the game. After a quick inbound, Fortunato “Atoy” Co Jr. missed a hurried shot from the three-point line even though a pass to Redmanizers’ import Larry Boston would have been safer since there were still four seconds left in the game.
As a result, Toyota advanced to the finals to face U-Tex. Crispa, on the other hand, was relegated to the battle for third place against Great Taste.
“It was pure breaks that won us the game,” the late and former coach of Toyota, Fort Acuna, said at the time. “But I would like to give credit to [Robert] Jaworski and Fields for their brilliant teamup in the last seven seconds of the game.”
Jaworski set up Fields for the winning three-point play following a hard collision with Crispa’s Bernard Fabiosa.
“Jaworski was not pat with his game but he had complete control of his teammates,” Acuna added. “That’s what we call experience, his split-second pass to Fields was the true mark of an experienced player.”
However, then-Crispa coach Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan blamed officiating for their loss to Toyota.
“They suddenly forgot to call fouls in the closing seconds of the game,” Dalupan said. “Jaworski clearly barged into Fabiosa but there was no foul. Again, Fields charged into Boston and there was no foul again. Do you call that basketball?”
It was a disappointing loss for Crispa considering they wiped out a 14-point deficit and took the lead for the first time, 100-99, with about 19 ticks remaining.
Co was responsible for pushing the Redmanizers ahead with a driving layup from deep left. This was after Arnulfo Tuadles shattered a 98-all deadlock on a free throw with only 22 seconds left in the game.
Francis Arnaiz led the Tamaraws with 21 points while Tuadles had 16 markers. Fields finished with 12 points.
For Crispa, Philip Cezar led the way with 22 points while Co and Alberto Guidaben had 18 points each.