ANOTHER Philippine basketball Living Legend will be enshrined at the ‘Bahay Alamat’ court in the city of Valenzuela.
Antonio ‘Tony’ Genato is set to be honored with a jersey retirement and the unveiling of his marker at the Holy Grail of Basketball Courts in the Philippines on Sept. 21.
Genato, 91, is the only known living survivor of the 1954 Philippine men’s team that bagged the bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup. It remains until now as the highest finish ever by an Asian squad in the history of the world basketball championship.
Valenzuela City 2nd District Rep. Eric Martinez is spearheading the virtual ceremony from Barangay Maysan, Bahayang Pag-Asa where Bahay Alamat is located.
Martinez, chairman of Committee on Youth and Sports Development in Congress, said the program is a way of recognizing the contributions Genato gave to Philippine basketball, including as member of one of the greatest cage teams the country ever assembled.
A mural and photos of that 1954 team bannered by the late ‘Big Difference’ Caloy Loyzaga and skippered by Lauro ‘The Fox’ Mumar, actually adorned Bahay Alamat along with three other Philippine teams of the past – the 1936 unit that competed in the Berlin Olympics, 1973 all-Filipino squad which won the FIBA Asia Men’s Championship, and the 2014 version which clinched a berth in the FIBA World Cup after a 36-year-absence.
The court also features life-sized photos of other Filipino basketball heroes such as Robert Jaworski Sr., Ramon Fernandez, Atoy Co, Loyzaga among others, along with champion coaches Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan, Tommy Manotoc, Norman Black, Chot Reyes, and Tim Cone.
Bahay Alamat is the first locally-inspired playing venue to be constructed under the watch of Martinez in Valenzuela after building five previous NBA-themed courts.