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Carlos Loyzaga
Loyzaga as basketball player
No. 14, 41
Personal information
Born (1930-08-29)August 29, 1930
San Jose, Mindoro, Philippine Islands
Nationality Filipino
Died January 27, 2016(2016-01-27) (aged 85)
San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 82 kg (181 lb)
Career information
College San Beda College
Pro career 1951–1964
Career history
1954–1964 YCO Painters (MICAA)
Career highlights and awards
As player:
  • No. 14 retired by the San Beda Red Lions

As coach:

  • FIBA Asia Championship (1967)
Men's basketball
Representing  Philippines
FIBA World Championship
Bronze 1954 Rio de Janeiro Team
Asian Basketball Confederation Championship
Gold 1960 Manila Team
Gold 1963 Taipei Team
Asian Games
Gold 1951 New Delhi Team
Gold 1954 Manila Team
Gold 1958 Tokyo Team
Gold 1962 Jakarta Team

Carlos "Caloy" Matute Loyzaga (August 29, 1930 – January 27, 2016) was a Filipino basketball player and coach. He was the most dominant basketball player of his era in the Philippines and is considered as the greatest Filipino basketball player of all time. Loyzaga was a two-time Olympian (1952, 1956), as a member of the Philippine national team.

Early life

Loyzaga was born in San Jose, Mindoro (now Occidental Mindoro) on August 29, 1930. He was the fourth child of Joaquín Loyzaga Sr. and Carmen Matute. His father was a football player and a member of the Philippine national team which competed and won medals at the Far Eastern Championship Games. Loyzaga survived the Second World War together with his mother, sister, and two brothers. He studied at the Padre Burgos Elementary School in Santa Mesa, Manila and National University for high school until 1948.

Basketball career

Loyzaga learned to play basketball in the neighborhood TERVALAC (Teresa Valenzuela Athletic Club) basketball courts in Teresa Street, Santa Mesa, Manila. It was in the very same TERVALAC court where he was discovered by Gabby Fajardo, one of the Philippines' leading coaches of the time. Fajardo saw promise in Loyzaga and offered to train Loyzaga for his junior PRATRA (Philippine Relief and Trade Rehabilitation Administration) team. In 1949, Loyzaga quit high school to play for PRATRA, winning the MICAA junior crown that year.

San Beda Red Lions

Loyzaga wanted to enroll at Letran, but backed out at the last minute when the coach gave him a cold shoulder. He was about to enroll at the University of Santo Tomas, but this also did not materialize after Fely Fajardo (older brother of Gabby), coach of the San Beda Red Lions, recruited him. In the NCAA cage wars for the coveted Zamora Trophy in the 1950s, San Beda lost its title bid when Loyzaga did not see action due to scholastic reasons.

During the spirited rivalry between the San Beda Red Lions and the Ateneo Blue Eagles, the sports moderator of San Beda discovered that, under the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules, Loyzaga had one year of eligibility left. He was allowed to play for that one year specifically for the Red Lions to capture the Zamora Cup, the prize for the team that had three NCAA championships. The only eligible teams were San Beda (Champions, 1951 and 1952) and Ateneo de Manila (Champions 1953, 1954). Loyzaga successfully helped San Beda clinch the Zamora Trophy. Following San Beda's triple championships (1951, 1952 and 1955), the Zamora Trophy was retired. That moment in time earned Loyzaga the legendary title of "The Big Difference".

YCO Painters

Loyzaga joined the fabled YCO Painters in 1954 after powering PRATRA, and its successor team, PRISCO (Price Stabilization Corporation), to the National Open championship in 1950 and 1953, respectively. He helped the Painters achieve a 49-game winning streak from 1954 to 1956, including several MICAA titles and ten straight National Open titles. Loyzaga took over as the Painters' head coach after retiring in 1964.

Philippine men's basketball team

Loyzaga was a two-time Olympian - 1952 (9th place) and 1956 (7th place) - as a member of the Philippines men's national basketball team. He helped the Philippines become one of the best in the world at the time, winning four consecutive Asian Games gold medals (1951, 1954, 1958, 1962) and two consecutive FIBA Asia Championships (1960, 1963). His finest moment was at the 1954 FIBA World Championship where he led the Philippines to a bronze finish. It was the best finish by an Asian country and the Philippines have remained the only Asian medalist in the tournament. He finished as one of the tournament’s leading scorers with a 16.4 points-per-game average and was named in the tournament's All-Star selection.

Coaching career

Loyzaga started as player-coach for YCO during the early 1960s. After retiring as a player in 1964, he became the head coach of YCO and the Manila Bank Golden Bankers in the MICAA; and the UST Glowing Goldies in the UAAP. He coached the Philippine men's basketball team that won the 1967 ABC Championship (now known as the FIBA Asia Championship). In the Philippine Basketball Association, he coached U/Tex (1975-1976) and Tanduay (1977-1979).

Personal life

Loyzaga was married to Vicky Cuerva on 21 May 1957; the couple's children include basketball players Chito and Joey, Princess, and actresses Bing and Teresa. He was the grandfather of Diego Loyzaga.

Loyzaga died on January 27, 2016, at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, Metro Manila. He suffered a stroke in Australia in 2011 prior to returning to the Philippines in 2013.

As a posthumous commemoration, the San Beda College officially retired the #14 jersey used by Loyzaga during the opening ceremonies of the NCAA Season 92 basketball tournament on June 25, 2016, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Members of the Loyzaga family attended the jersey retirement ceremony.



  • Philippine National Basketball Hall of Fame (1999)
  • Philippine Sportswriters Association Athletes of the 20th Century award (2000)
  • Philippine Olympic Committee Presidential Olympism Award (2016)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Carlos Loyzaga para niños

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