EVEN in his final moments, Carlos 'Caloy' Loyzaga, considered the greatest Filipino basketball player ever and one of the most revered athletes to have represented the country, still had Philippine sports in mind as he left one last imprint that he hopes all Filipino athletes should follow.
Former PBA star forward and national team cager Chito Loyzaga revealed to SPIN.ph that one of the last wishes his father relayed to him was to encourage all athletes, not just basketball players, to value the privilege and treasure the honor of playing for flag and country.
“If there is one message that he would want to leave particularly to the younger generation of athletes and basketball players, eh yun yung importansya to be proud and honored once given the opportunity to play and represent your flag and country in international competitions,” Loyzaga said.
The younger Loyzaga even recalled some of the exact words his father told him.
“My time before is different from what it is today," he shared. "There might be some factors that are present today that were not present during my time, but at the end of the day, hindi dapat matanggal sa equation yung honor and privilege na i-represent yung flag and country.”
“You always bring out the passion in you when you play the sport and do your best. Hindi kailanman dapat mawala ang interes mong lumaro para sa bansa more than anything,” he added
'King Caloy' Loyzaga passed away last Wednesday, leaving behind an unprecedented achievement as a Filipino basketball player.
During his time, the man fondly called 'The Big Difference' was a global force averaging 16.4 points in his two stints at the World Basketball Championships in 1952 and 1956.
He also anchored the Philippines to gold medal finishes in the 1960 and 1963 Fiba Asia Championships and a string of four Asian Games titles in 1951, 1954, 1958 and 1962.
In honor of Loyzaga's greatness, Pampanga representative and Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao recently passed a resolution recognizing the contributions of the late Filipino basketball legend.
Under House Resolution number 2646, Guiao cited 10 achievements of Loyzaga, who in the 1950’s and 1960’s was a popular cager in the world basketball scene, and highlighted the big vacuum that a legend like Loyzaga will leave behind in Philippine basketball.
“His death is a great loss not only to his family and friends but also to millions of basketball fans, young and old, who share his love and passion for the sport,” said the Pampanga first district congressman.
A copy of resolution has been forwarded to the family of Loyzaga, whose body will be cremated shortly after a 5 p.m. necrological service at the San Beda campus on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Loyzaga family expressed their overwhelming gratitude after seeing the outpouring of support and show of love to the fallen basketball icon.
“Sa akin naman kasi, very overwhelming ang love and support ng mga nagmamahal sa kanya talaga. Hindi ko naman pwedeng balewalain rin ang achievements at contributions niya. Nasa records naman yan,” said Chito.
“If there is one thing I want to share to the people, that he was also a very simple man who was a loving husband and father to his children, he just enjoys simple things in life,” he continued.
“On behalf of the family, my mother Vicky, Joey, Princess, Teresa, Bing and me and yung mga apo ng tatay ko, malaking pagpapasalamt sa lahat ng nagpadala ng pagmamahal, suporta, dasal, panalangin, malaking pasasalamat lang na gusto naming ipaabot sa kanilang lahat dahil nagpakita sila ng pagpapasakit at panalangin sa amin” added Chito, who is now a consultant of the Blackwater Elite team in the PBA.