The PBA pioneer and legend had a distinguished 16-year career that ended in 1991. During that time, he was one of the first players to have his own shoes done by World Balance which he wore until he retired.
The 69-year-old Cezar remembered being asked for inputs about the shoes, saying he put a lot of premium on cushion and comfort.
“Kinuha ako ni Ahan (father of World Balance president Barny Chong). Sabi sa akin, 'Sige, mag-design ka ng gagamitin mo.' So ayun, ginawan ako ng gagamitin ko para sa laro. Kapag masikip, sasabihin ko lang na ayusin lang ito konti.”
“Tapos gusto ko medyo malambot at iba ‘yung material na ginamit natin dati. Noon pa man kahit papaano may inputs na ako sa design process ng sapatos ko,” said the former league MVP.
“Kinukuha nga ako ng ibang brand noon eh, pero sabi ko huwag na,” he added.
Cezar said he is amazed with the technology that goes with the making of shoes these days, joking that he would have accumulated a lot more statistics if some of these sneakers were available during his heyday.
“Kung mga points, blocks at rebound, marami,” said the player known as ‘Tapal King,’ who amassed 12,077 points, 5,834 rebounds, and 1,370 blocks in a legendary career that landed him a place among the league's 25 and
40 Greatest Players.
Too bad he is no longer around in the league to try out the Scottie 1, said Cezar.
“Sayang, matanda na tayo at hindi na tayo nakakapaglaro. Pang-lakad na lang ito at ‘yung apo kong maliit ang magmamana.”
Cezar said Thompson is a perfect endorser for the brand given the Barangay Ginebra guard's tenacity on the court.
“Kahit na magkaiba kami ng position ng paglalaro, masaya ako dahil nakakuha sila ng player na buo ang loob bukod sa masipag at madiskarte. Okay na siya napili to carry the torch for the brand and hopefully, he can bring others along,” Cezar said.
Cezar has only one advice to Thompson moving forward.
“Lagi niya lang isipin na it’s not all about the money. Alam ko sa panahon ngayon, halos lahat gusto ng endorsements," he said. "Lahat naman ‘yan kikitain pero importante ‘yung pakikisama sa lahat. Hindi mababayaran ng pera ‘yun.”
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