This Day in PBA History: Adornado sets made free throws record

Rey Joble

Posted at Aug 07 2022 06:47 PM

Only a few players in the PBA were able to register a remarkable streak of of free throw conversions that each time these players visit the foul line, it's almost an automatic point.

Through the years, there were players who stood out as one of the finest shooters in the free throw line -- former MVPs Ricardo Brown, Allan Caidic, and Ato Agustin, four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio, Fourth Quarter Man Jojo Lastimosa, Pont Laureate Ronnie Magsanc, and of course, there's three-time MVP and PBA Hall of Famer William "Bogs" Adornado.

Adornado was able to post that record bridging two seasons -- from the 1986 Open Conference when he was still playing for Shell, to the latter stretch of the 1987 All-Filipino Conference when he was already seeing action for the Hills Brothers Coffee KIngs, the brand then being carried by the old Alaska franchise.

For about 10 months, Adornado was flawless from the charity stripes.

In the 1986 season, Adornado has made 100 out of 127 free throw attempts.

But on this day in PBA history, August 7, 1987, Adornado's streak of consecutive free throws made stopped at 69, which at that time was the most number of conversions made by any player.

Looking back at that remarkable streak, Adornado felt he could have done more.

"Yung missed shot ko, feel ko na yun," recalled Adornado. "Kasi before that game, I had a fever. Hindi ako naka-practice. Tapos, hindi ako nag-start nung game na yun. Nung pinasok ako, last two minutes yata of the second quarter." 

"The opponent was already in the penalty and dalawang balikan pa lang, na-foul ako. So I went to the foul line. My first shot, mintis. Yun ang story nung 69."

That 69 straight free throw conversions was eclipsed by Allan Caidic six years later when The Trigger Man hit 76 consecutive foul shots.

But Adornado retired as one of the steadiest shooters ever in the PBA.

He was included in the top 10 of the steadiest free throw shooters in the PBA, averaging 84% from the charity stripe (2,169 out of 2,583 attempts).

He was also second to Brown in all-time scoring averages, 20.4 ppg and was considered to be probably the finest ever to play the mid-range game.

"When I entered the PBA, wala pang three-point shot, so I was more focused on taking higher-percentage shots," said Adornado, who was also remarkable for his foul-baiting tactics.

But basketball's landscape today has changed to the point that free throw shooting has become a lost art, according to Adornado, as even the easiest shot shot to make was a struggle to some players. 

His advise was simple.

"Baka they don't give more time to practice their free throws," said Adornado. "Kasi naman, shooting free throws, it's all about confidence. How do you develop confidence? Through practice or repetition."