A year after watching “Mr. Excitement” Bong Alvarez break his record for most points in a single game, Allan Caidic got a chance to establish 2 more feats on this day 30 years ago, November 21, 1991.
Not only did Caidic retake the record for most points by scoring 79 and surpassing Alvarez’s previous record of 71, but he also shattered the most number of 3-point shots made in a game.
“The Triggerman” displayed excellent marksmanship, hitting 17 treys, eclipsing his own record of 15 treys he made 2 years prior.
On November 2, 1989, Caidic just eclipsed the record of 14 made by Jose Slaughter when he hit 15 treys on his way to scoring 68.
So Caidic just regained his status as the 3-point and scoring King at that time and it was his long-time teammate, Abe King, who set things in motion.
“Ang promotor noon, si Abe King. Ang sabi niya, i-break natin ’yung record mo,” Caidic said. “Then ang ginawa naman nila sinuportahan talaga ako, parati akong binibigyan ng bola. Nataon namang maganda shooting ko noon.”
Caidic’s excellent shooting allowed Presto Tivoli to beat Ginebra San Miguel, 162-149.
Looking back, Caidic started his PBA career as if he was destined to set record-breaking feats.
In just his rookie season, he became the first newcomer to hit 7 3-point shots while playing during the finals between Great Taste and Tanduay Rhum in the 1987 Open Conference.
He became only the third rookie since the late Arnie Tuadles (1979) and Ricardo Brown (1983) to crack the Mythical First Team and nearly ended up as a rookie-MVP had it not been for his team’s disastrous campaign in the Third Conference that season.
In 1987, Great Taste made it to the finals twice, losing to Tanduay in the First Conference, but went on to sweep Hills Brothers in three games of their All-Filipino championship series. But the team, then carrying the name Great Taste Instant Milk, got eliminated early in the Reinforced Conference.
“Well, hindi ko naman iniisip ’yan noon, but at the back of your mind, dream mo na magka-MVP ka,” said Caidic. “Pero hindi mo pinu-push sa sarili mo na ‘Kailangan MVP ako this year.’ Parang darating na lang ’yung talaga kapag nagcha-champion kayo. Parang icing on the cake ’yun na ikaw ’yung magiging MVP.”
“Pero nu’ng 1987, rookie year ko, without knowing it, napasama ako sa Mythical Five,” he added. “Una si Arbie Tuadles, then si Ricky Brown, tapos pangatlo ako. So nu’ng matapos ’yung season na ’yun, doon ko na-realize na nasa Mythical Five ako so kung medyo mas gumanda pa laro ko, may tsansa rin akong naging MVP. Na-realize ko na lang ’yun after nu’ng nanalo si Benjie Paras as rookie-MVP in 1989.”
It didn’t take long before Caidic became the league’s Most Valuable Player as he won the award in 1990.
Along the way, Caidic set other milestones like having the most number of consecutive free throws made with 76, breaking the record of 69 set by William “Bogs Adornado”.
For a long time, he was also the record holder for most number of 3-point shots with 1,242, a feat which was overtaken by Jimmy Alapag, when “The Mighty Mouse” came out of retirement and hit a total of 1,250 before retiring for good at the end of the 2016 PBA season.
Caidic was also second best in all-time best free-throw percentage (87%), making 1,835 free throws out of the 2108 throughout his career, next only to former teammate, Brown.
Known as one of the most feared players in the Asian basketball competitions during his heydays, Caidic was also the 8th member of the PBA’s 10,000-point club and became the first player to hit 1,000 3-point shots.
Rey Joble is a sports journalist who has been covering the PBA since 1998, and followed the league as a fan way before that.