Host San Beda will honor alumnus and the late basketball great Carlos Loyzaga by retiring his No. 14 jersey during the opening rights of the 92nd NCAA basketball season on June 25 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
NCAA Management Committee chair Jose Mari Lacson said the family of Loyzaga, known as the “The Big Difference” and considered the best basketball player this country has produced, including son Chito will be present to witness the historic event.
“Caloy Loyzaga has made not just San Beda and NCAA but also the whole Philippines proud so it’s about time we return what he had done by honoring him with this,” said Lacson.
Loyzaga, who passed away early this year, won a pair of championships with San Beda in 1951 and 1952, helped the country win gold medals twice in the FIBA-Asia Championship (1960 and 1963) and four times in the Asian Games (1951, 1954, 1958 and 1962) and a bronze in the FIBA Worlds in 1954 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
That bronze in Rio happened to be unmatched until today.
Lacson also announced that Chito Loyzaga, who like his father also played and won championships with the Lions, will also declare the games open.
Organizers also promised a big opening number that will be choreographed by Roxanne Lapus and directed by Douglas Nierras to jumpstart the season set to unfold at 12:30 p.m.
Set to open basketball hostilities are Mapua against Jose Rizal at 2 p.m. and defending champion Letran and last year’s runner-up San Beda in the main game at 4 p.m.
The Knights, who will be coached this year by Jeff Napa after Aldin Ayo left for La Salle, beat the Lions in three games to win the championship a season ago.
Andy Jao was appointed as commissioner.