San Beda officially retires Loyzaga's jersey

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 25 2016 01:41 PM | Updated as of Jun 25 2016 02:21 PM

Carlos "Caloy" Loyzaga's No. 14 jersey is officially retired by the San Beda College during the opening ceremony of NCAA Season 92 on Saturday, June 25, 2016, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – San Beda College on Saturday officially retired the No. 14 jersey of the late, great Carlos "Caloy" Loyzaga, who led the Red Lions to multiple NCAA championships in the 1950s and was the cornerstone of the national team in the 1950s and the 1960s.

Loyzaga, known as "The Big Difference," is widely recognized as the best basketball player in Philippine history. He led the country to a bronze medal finish in the 1954 FIBA World Championships, a feat that has yet to be matched.

San Beda's Rev. Fr. Aloysius Maranan, OSB honored Loyzaga as "one of our beloved sports heroes" who is a member not just of the SBC family but that of the NCAA as well.

"No other player will wear the No. 14 jersey," Maranan said.

Maranan then presented Loyzaga's family, led by Chito Loyzaga, with a framed replica of their father's jersey.

"Our father cherished his years as a student-athlete, and he was deeply honored to represent San Beda," said Chito. "He also took great pride to serve as NCAA Commissioner and coach."

Chito, himself a former star for San Beda, also said that it was during his father's years as a Red Lion that he developed as an athlete. "The Big Difference" also put his country above his own personal ambitions, he said, and "loved his teammates as if they were his own family."

"We hope he will continue to inspire NCAA athletes," Chito said of his father's legacy.

Loyzaga died on January 27, 2016, at the age of 85.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)