If you thought Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are just incredible and mind-boggling with their rain of threes in a game, the Splash Brothers themselves would be startled and stunned in awe if they had seen this man play in this historic game in 1991.
It was held in the Philippines, in an arena in Pasig City called ULTRA then, in Asia’s premier play-for-pay basketball league, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), in what was supposed to be just a ho-hum no-bearing contest. But it turned out to be one of the most unforgettable, remarkable games in basketball history.
It’s because of this one player considered the most gifted Filipino shooting guard ever to set foot on a basketball court who strode in that chilly arena barely a month before Christmas. Wearing that all-too-familiar jersey number 8 for a lackluster team called Presto Tivoli, Allan Caidic was always that perimeter threat; an outside gunner who made the entire area beyond the arc his dominion.
And, he wasn’t reluctant nor stymied to launch that ball in the air—even the coach willed it to happen, a license only assassins would dare bear. Thus, his monicker, The Triggerman.
But in that game on November 21, 1991 during the PBA’s Third Conference, Caidic himself did not expect his ruthlessness from the field that day. In fact, it was supposed to be an important family day—the birth of his child with his wife Milotte in labor at a nearby hospital. Thus, he had all the reasons to be excused. But as the doctor informed him of his wife’s extended labor, he told Allan he had all the time to relax, and of course the entire night to go rollicking in the court.
And he did report for work, facing a hostile crowd rooting for the country’s most popular team, Ginebra San Miguel, which is also, in fact, the most rugged and bruising ballclub at the time.
As he rushed to the arena from the hospital, Presto coach Jimmy Mariano decided to just let him sit on the bench for the entire first quarter because he appeared tense and concerned about his wife in the delivery room. But when he was fielded in the second quarter to begin what was supposed to be a normal day in the office, for what should have been a forgettable routine match that they must get over with soon, little did everyone expect that this explosive shooter would make history.
And in that period, Caidic’s merciless artillery began its bombardment on the floor—converting fade-aways, stationary jumpers and quick releases from midrange and the perimeter, off the dribble and through picks, all in rapid succession. But the most devastating to their shocked opponents, led by a distraught Living Legend playing coach Sonny Jaworski, that rocked the record books was his deadly precision from the “rainbow territory,” as sportscasters called it then, draining a total of nine, yes, NINE!, three-pointers in one quarter, making him score a total of another record 37 points in a single 12-minute period!
This accomplishment further encouraged Caidic’s teammates, specifically the “Chairman of the Boards” Abe King, to make this bold dare to break more records that night. King did not mince his words: “Pare, gumawa ka pa ng record. Susuportahan ka namin.”
And Caidic did not let them down.
He continued his remarkable streak in the remainder of the game with an offensive carnage never seen in professional basketball. All his fiery swooshes from different locations made him appear like a man possessed, drilling one basket after another with gritty, gruesome, and non-human accuracy.
It seemed the match did not matter anymore, as spectators and even the protagonists were just focused on Caidic’s bewildering barrage of points. His storm of three’s went on without letup, and before anyone knew it, he already converted a record total of 17 three-pointers nearing the end of the final quarter, which is five conversions more than the current NBA record jointly held by Curry, Kobe Bryant, and Donyell Marshall.
And, as the final buzzer sounded, with Presto defeating Ginebra, 162-149, Caidic was triumphantly feted as having accomplished so many scoring records in a single game. After that single quarter scoring record and the feat of having the most three-pointers in one match, Caidic also ended up with a jaw-dropping 79 points in a game—the most by a Filipino basketball player in history—including 53 points in the second half, another record-breaking achievement, off a scorching 74% field goal percentage.
But for this sterling cager, nothing else made him more fulfilled and happier, not even churning out one of the most awesome performances by a player in the history of basketball, than seeing his firstborn Marisse for the first time in his wife’s arms after the game.
One perfect, illustrious and blessed night no one, not even he, could ever have imagined.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.