Business World

Hoops legend Florencio dies in US at the age of 70

- Rey Joble

PHILIPPINE BASKETBALL has lost another legend as Danny Florencio died due to heart attack at the age of 70 in San Francisco on Friday (US Pacific time).

This was confirmed by Mr. Florencio’s relatives and friends.

Fans would remember Mr. Florencio because of his exciting brand of game, earning him the moniker “Daredevil.” He was an entertaini­ng player to watch in the Philippine Basketball Associatio­n, preceding another legend, Samboy Lim.

The 5-foot-10 Florencio once held the single- game scoring record in the PBA when he unloaded 64 points while playing for the 7-UP Uncolas in 1977.

Mr. Florencio also became a member of the champion teams of the Toyota Tamaraws where he won multiple championsh­ips with the squad, including the 1981 Open Conference title, the last championsh­ip showdown between archrivals Toyota and Crispa.

One standout moment in Mr. Florencio’s basketball career was in 1967 when he led the Philippine team to the Asian Basketball Confederat­ion title.

Benched for the most part of the tournament by his coach, Caloy Loyzaga, Mr. Florencio was sent in during the crucial moments of their last game and delivered the clutch baskets that propelled the Filipinos to an 8380 victory over the Koreans in Seoul, capping the Philippine­s’ perfect season.

Both the Philippine­s and Korea entered the game with identical 8-0 slates and the last game of the season was rendered as the championsh­ip match.

Two years ago, BusinessWo­rld had a chance interview with Florencio when he visited a game in the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League at the Marikina Sports Complex and the latter would recall his frustratio­n of hardly seeing action during the 1967 ABC.

“I was frustrated. I don’t know why Caloy was not using me,” recalled Mr. Florencio. “But he told me I’m the surprise package, so he sent me in during the crucial moments of the game. I was so excited, I scored the crucial points for the Philippine­s, which won the gold medal game.”

Mr. Florencio’s best years as a commercial player came when he was a member of the fabled Crispa Redmanzier­s coached by the legendary Baby Dalupan.

Before Bogs Adornado, Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Freddie Hubalde and Abet Guidaben, Crispa was led in the old Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Associatio­n ( MICAA) by Mr. Florencio, Adriano Papa and Boy Kutch.

The three players were the stars of the franchise and they won multiple championsh­ips for two years, until their names were involved in a controvers­y over game- fixing in 1973 in a game against Mariwasa.

They were meted a lifetime ban by the MICAA but was later lifted.

“These three players were replaced by Atoy, Freddie, Abet and Philip. Bogs was still a rookie at that time but emerged as the top scorer when Florencio, Papa and Kutch left Crispa,” said Jay Mercado, a well-known amateur basketball historian. “But Florencio and Kutch joined Larry Mumar and Boy Mora in U-Tex in the PBA and formed a four- headed monster for the Wranglers.”

Mr. Florencio played collegiate ball with the University of Santo Tomas.

In the PBA, he was named one of the “25 Greatest Players.” —

 ??  ?? DANNY FLORENCIO (center) visited the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League two years ago in his hometown of Marikina.
DANNY FLORENCIO (center) visited the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League two years ago in his hometown of Marikina.

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