More than 140 players crossed their Rubicon in shedding their amateur status to turn professional in the inaugural season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in 1975.
Nobody has asked me, but my vote for the GOAT player in the 46-year history of the PBA goes to Ramon Fernandez with his multi-dimensional skills and elegant artistry.
Valentine’s Day will be remembered for the day Michael Jordan’s famed No. 23 jersey with the Chicago Bulls was lost in the locker room just before the team was to play the Orlando Magic. It turned out to a double whammy for His Airness as the Magic also recorded a 135-129 overtime victory.
A dozen countries were in attendance in the 1954 edition – seven from the Americas, three from Europe and two from Asia, the Philippines and Formosa (Taiwan/now known as Chinese-Taipei).
According to the famous historian and National Artist awardee Nick Joaquin, basketball was introduced to Filipinos within the historic walls of Intramuros, Manila. Unclear, however, is the exact date of the first basketball game ever played on Philippine soil.
Officially, I became a professional sportswriter on June 6, 1981, when my first materials on basketball, particularly about the NBA, were published in Sports World, a weekly national sports magazine.