Toyota vs. Crispa: The Last Hurrah in Guam 1984

The fabled teams of Toyota and Crispa had their battles in the PBA. That came to a close in 1984 after Delta Motor Corporation decided to disband the team due to the prevailing economic crisis at the time.

Most know what transpired after that. The franchise was sold to the Lucio Tan group on February 14, 1984. However, Robert Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz, Arnulfo Tuadles and Joaquin Loyzaga were not among the players included.

Jaworski and Arnaiz signed with Gilbey’s Gin while Tuadles and Loyzaga moved to Great Taste.

Last Hurrah in Guam

The Big J was the straw that stirred Toyota's drink during their MICAA and PBA sojourns
The Big J was the straw that stirred Toyota’s drink during their MICAA and PBA sojourns
Toyota and Crispa played a pair of exhibition games dubbed the “Last Hurrah in Guam” in March 1984.

In their first meeting on March 4, the Corollas won over the Redmanizers to the tune of 109-101.

Abe King led Toyota with a game-high 32 points in that game while Tuadles backed him up with 23 points and nine rebounds.

However, it was the plays of the Big J that helped the Corollas to victory road. He scored on a drive and converted on a crucial three-pointer that sparked a 10-0 run, allowing Toyota to come back after trailing 99-101 in the final minutes of the game.

Jaworski would finish with 19 points for the Corollas.

Crispa was also held to just two free throws in the last four minutes, compounded by their maze of errors.

“The boys were determined. We needed the game more,” Toyota assistant coach Rino Salazar said at the time.

As far as Jaworski was concerned, the breaks of the game just went their way.

“There was a sense of togetherness. The spirit was still there. Both teams played hard but the breaks went with us,” Jawo said after that game.

Aware that these games would be the last he would wear the Toyota uniform, the Big J admits that he was sad that his run with the PBA franchise was coming to a close.

“I spent the best years of my career with Toyota. I’m sad that it has to end this way,” he quipped.

Jaworski puts the defensive clamp on Alfredo Hubalde in one of the many epic Toyota vs. Crispa encounters.
Jaworski puts the defensive clamp on Alfredo Hubalde in one of the many epic Toyota vs. Crispa encounters.

Crispa evens the score, wins game 2

It would have been a fitting last game for Toyota on March 5 but the Redmanizers had other things planned.

Crispa got even with their archrivals using a fourth-quarter run to win the second meeting against Toyota, 108-92, at the University of Guam.

Abet Guidaben: 1983 PBA MVP
Abet Guidaben: 1983 PBA MVP
Alberto Guidaben controlled the boards as the Redmanizers proved they were better conditioned than their rivals.

“We played better defense. They had a hard time setting up their plays,” then-Crispa coach Narciso Bernardo said. “But it was very clear that the boys were more determined. I told them that our prestige as a team is at stake in this series.”

This was seconded by Crispa head of delegation Consul General Ruben Ramirez who said that they needed the game more.

“We don’t want to go home to Manila with our heads bowed. I’m happy the boys responded. That you saw was the real Crispa team playing,” Ramirez stated.

Philip Cezar led Crispa’s win with 24 points. Backing him up were Arturo Cristobal and Fortunato Co Jr. who had 23 and 19 points respectively.

Tuadles led Toyota in that loss with 29 points while King finished with 17 points.

“It’s kind of sad that this thing has to end,” Arnaiz, who finished with 15 points said.

Cezar, Guidaben, Bernard Fabiosa, Jaworski and King were later named to the mythical selection. Each received $200 as prizes.

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