By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) recently announced huge news to the Philippine hoops community after naming Filipino legend Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga to its Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
Loyzaga also made history as the first-ever Filipino to be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame confirmed last June 2, 2023.
The dominant player was tagged as the greatest Filipino basketball player of all time after winning eight championship titles in the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA).
Loyzaga became an instant champion with the YCO Athletic Club and led the squad to seven straight MICAA titles from 1954-1960.
“The Big Difference” also brought his winning mentality to the international hoops stage after steering the Philippine national team to four Asian Games championship crowns.
He also performed under the bright lights in the Asian Basketball Confederation (now FIBA) and is a two-time champion with the PHL team.
Perhaps one of his most prestigious achievements on the FIBA world stage was during the 1954 edition where he was named to the All-Tournament Team.
It was also this year when Loyzaga led the men’s national hoops team to a bronze medal finish in the FIBA World Cup.
Loyzaga passed away last 2016 due to cardiac arrest at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center and will be honored on August 23, 2023, when the PHL will host this year’s FIBA World Cup.
He will be joining a stacked group of basketball legends in the upcoming Hall of Fame including former NBA superstar and Chinese legend Yao Ming, Angola’s Angelo Monteiro dos Santos Victoriano, Georgia’s Zurab Sakandelidze, Yuko Oga of Japan, USA’s Katrina McClain, Spain’s Amaya Valdemoro, France’s Valerie Garnier, and Italy’s Alessandro Gamba.