IN a brief ceremony that ushered in the new season, the NCAA retired basketball legend Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga’s No. 14 jersey on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The solemn ceremony was witnessed by Loyzaga’s family, led by his son Chito, who were grateful for the honor given to the Philippine basketball legend who played for the San Beda Red Lions.
“We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the NCAA board of trustees, the NCAA executive committee, the NCAA community for the recognition you have bestowed to our father Carlos Loyzaga,” said Chito.
“Our father cherished his years as a student-athlete. He was deeply honored to represent San Beda on the NCAA court and these were his most memorable years,” he added.
Chito, together with siblings Joey, Teresa, and Bing, received their father’s commemorative jersey from league president Fr. Aloysius Maranan.
The honor was only fitting for ‘The Big Difference,’ whose decorated career was littered with a myriad of achievements, among them was making the Mythical Team of the 1954 FIBA World Championships (now the World Cup) after steering the country to a podium finish.
The 6-feet-3 Loyzaga, who passed away last January, was also a two-time Olympian.
The younger Loyzaga hopes his father will be remembered not only as an inspiration to the younger generation of basketball enthusiasts, but also as “one who loved his country above his personal ambition and as one who loved his teammates as his own family.”
“We are deeply grateful to the NCAA’s gesture of retiring his jersey and granting him the honor of being remembered today,” he added.