THIS is one homecoming former PBA star Joey Loyzaga is looking forward to.
The Australia-based cager can’t wait for August to finally come as it will be a special one for the entire family when late patriarch Caloy Loyzaga is going to be inducted in the FIBA Hall of Fame.
That the event will be held in Manila in time for the country’s co-hosting of the FIBA World Cup made it even a more memorable one for the Loyzaga clan.
Joey Loyzaga on Caloy Loyzaga Hall of Fame induction
“I’m grateful, excited, and looking forward to be present on induction night,” said Loyzaga in a text message to SPIN.ph from Sydney.
Loyzaga will be flying over to Manila and join mother Vicky and siblings Chito, Princess, Teresa, and Bing for the August 23 induction to be held just after the conclusion of the FIBA Congress.
The 61-year-old Loyzaga was speechless and misty eyed upon learning his father, generally considered as the greatest Filipino basketball player of all time, was included in the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 headed by Chinese behemoth and former NBA player Yao Ming.
“I don’t know what to say,” the four-time PBA champion admitted. “I’m just so grateful that the achievements of Dad were finally given notice and recognized.”
The last time he was in the country in February for the sixth and final window of the World Cup qualifier, Joey was already keeping his fingers crossed his late father would finally be inducted in the FIBA Hall of Fame.
During the meet, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) honored the late basketball great by putting up a mini-museum at the upper floor of the Philippine Arena it called as ‘Loyzaga Lounge’ where clippings, photos, mementos, and memorabilia were put on display in close coordination with the Loyzaga family.
Joey back then said he’s hoping FIBA will finally consider ‘King Caloy,’ who died in 2016, for induction in the Hall of Fame.
The honor of course, was a long time coming.
Loyzaga, who would be turning 93 a few days after the induction, led the Philippines to a bronze-medal finish in the 1954 World Cup, where he was also named as part of the Mythical selection after finishing as one of the meet’s leading scorers with an average of 16.4 points.
The third-place finish still remains as the highest ever accomplished by an Asian country in the World Cup up to this day.
Loyzaga was also a two-time Olympian (1952 Helsinki and 1959 Melbourne), a four-time gold medal winner in the Asian Games from 1951 to 1962, and two-time winner in the FIBA Asia Championships in 1960 and 1963.
Almost 60 years after his retirement as a player, Loyzaga’s exploits have finally been recognized.
“I thanked our Loving God for making this thing happen. Ever grateful and thankful,” added Joey.