MANILA – With the Philippines hosting the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the FIBA World Congress, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) decided to honor basketball icon Caloy Loyzaga in the simplest way.
SBP and Philippine FIBA World Cup 2023 Local Organizing Committee Director Sonny Barrios, together with Deputy Executive Director Erika Dy, in collaboration with the LOC FIBA World Congress group of Ms Julie Carceller, conceptualized and collaborated to set up a mini memorabilia and memento museum to highlight the accomplishments of the man known as well as King Caloy.
In close coordination with the Loyzaga family, particularly his daughter, Bing, the organizers gathered the material to be displayed at one of the lounges on the third floor of the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
Photos, medals, brochures, bits of information were displayed in what Barrios billed as the Loyzaga Lounge.
Representatives of the SBP, the LOC, and FIBA, VIPs, friends, family, basketball and non-basketball personalities, and even foreign dignitaries converged during the launch of the exhibit.
Visitors from abroad, such as Japan Embassy Ambassador H.E. Koshikawa Kasuhiko and Australian Embassy Deputy Ambassador Dr Moya Collet, were pleased to meet the Loyzagas and to learn about Caloy.
Present on behalf of the basketball star were his surviving spouse Vicky, and children Joey, Teresa, and Bing, and his grandson Diego. His other son, Chito, was not able to attend. Joey and Chito also represented the Philippines in international basketball competitions at one time.
“My thoughts are overwhelming. I did not expect this; it’s truly remarkable. Hope my dad was present to witness it. Thank you to the organizers,” said Joey.
Loyzaga’s daughter Bing, who had a direct hand in the set-up, said, “I always hoped that my father’s contributions to Philippine basketball would be recognized globally. I was witness to his undying love and passion for the game.” She knew the Loyzaga Lounge would be fantastic. “I should know. I helped organize it.”
Elder daughter Teresa saw the event as a great opportunity to display the memorabilia of her father’s great story in basketball.
“Though he may be gone, his achievements and contribution will remain alive forever. Proud of my dad,” she said.
Carlos Matute Loyzaga, or simply, “Caloy”, was known as The Big Difference in Philippine basketball in the 1950s and early 60s.
As the biggest and brightest star of the sport, he played the pivot as the center of attraction in both local and international competitions.
He won championships at San Beda College, suited up for the dominant Yco Painters, and represented the Philippines in two Olympics, in the 1954 FIBA World Championship, where he excelled, and in several other tournaments for flag and country.
Loyzaga passed away at the age of 85 in 2016.