world basketball

Overdue Caloy Loyzaga Hall of Fame honor still ‘means the world,’ says family

Jasmine W. Payo

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Overdue Caloy Loyzaga Hall of Fame honor still ‘means the world,’ says family

HONOR. Loyzaga siblings (starting second from left) Chito, Bing, and Joey receive the Hall of Fame award on behalf of their father Caloy Loyzaga from FIBA president Hamane Niang (left).


The Loyzaga siblings – former PBA players Chito and Joey, actresses Bing and Teresa, and Princess – still relish the tributes given to their late father, Philippine basketball great Caloy Loyzaga, as they never saw him play

MANILA, Philippines – Some said it would have been more fitting had Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga been around to bask in the glory. 

Considered the all-time great in Philippine basketball, Loyzaga got enshrined to the FIBA Hall of Fame posthumously, just a couple of days before the country kicked off its World Cup hosting on Friday, August 25. 

But even if Loyzaga – the first Filipino player inducted by the world basketball body – didn’t get to relish the tribute, his family said the Hall of Fame honor only kept his legacy alive. 

“Some said it could have been better if he’s around, but there’s always just a perfect time,” said Loyzaga’s son Joey during the ceremony on Wednesday night at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.

The Loyzaga siblings – former PBA players Chito and Joey, actresses Bing and Teresa, and Princess – along with their mother Vicky, graced the Hall of Fame awards where Chinese legend and former NBA star Yao Ming was also a Class of 2023 inductee.

“It really means the world to all of us, especially us, his children, we never really witnessed him playing,” said Bing.

“And it’s so sad that there are no videos to watch him. We only have the memorabilia…but really, he’s more of a dad than a basketball player. So it means a lot to us because he was just a great dad to us. But now it’s proven that he is the Philippines’ greatest basketball player, so it really means so much to us.”

FAMILY LOVE. Caloy Loyzaga’s wife Vicky (foreground) playfully shoots the ball as her children (from left) Princess, Bing, Teresa, and Joey laugh.

Loyzaga, nicknamed the “Big Difference” for his on-court impact, had a scintillating career in the world stage. 

In 1954, the 6-foot-3 Loyzaga powered the Philippines to a bronze finish in the FIBA World Championships, now known as the World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

To this day, the Philippines remains as the only Asian country to capture a medal in the World Cup.

Loyzaga also bannered the national team that gave the Philippines its first Asian Games gold in 1951, and helped the country to a ninth-place finish in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

“It is very humbling that he lent us his name. Because of his greatness, the shadow is passed on to us and it really means so much,” said Teresa of her father, who passed away at 85 on January 27, 2016. 

“But with that comes a lot of responsibilities because his name, he painted it very beautifully. We have to carry that name the same way he carried it. We owe him a lot and I think we owe that back to him.”

PROUD SON. Chito Loyzaga delivers an acceptance speech during the FIBA Hall of Fame ceremony.

Chito highlighted his father’s willingness to always play for flag and country in the acceptance speech he delivered during the Hall of Fame ceremony.

“Our family hopes he will be remembered for his love of the game…his simple dignity, quiet humility and deep gratitude for having been given the opportunity to represent this country,” said Chito. “These perhaps set him apart from some of the athletes past and present.”

“He always said that – it’s for the country,” Teresa shared after the ceremony. “He always said he was so proud to wear the flag. That’s dad.”

“He already got injured but he still wanted to play for the national team,” Joey added. “He broke his wrist before the Olympics but he went to his coach, and cried in front of his coach, that he wants to be included.”

Also honored alongside Loyzaga and Yao in this year’s Hall of Fame class are international basketball legends Wlamir Marques (Brazil), Amaya Valdemoro (Spain), Penny Taylor (Australia), Katrina McClain (USA), Yuko Oga (Japan), Sony Hendrawan (Indonesia), Angelo Monteiro dos Santos Victoriano (Angola), Zurab Sakandelidze (Georgia), Valerie Garnier (France), and Alessandro Gamba (Italy).

“I’m the youngest of five siblings, so to me, my dad was really just there to take me to school and pick me up from school everyday from grade school to high school,” shared Bing. 

“But with this honor, experiencing this, it proves to me that he’s not just my dad but he’s the Philippines’ greatest basketball player.” 

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FAST FACTS: Caloy Loyzaga, the first Filipino player in the FIBA Hall of Fame


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Jasmine W. Payo

Jasmine joined Rappler as its sports editor in 2018 after over a decade of working as a sportswriter for a national broadsheet.