After the successful Toyota grand reunion last February 18 in celebration of their 50th anniversary, plans are set to have another grand homecoming this time featuring the personalities of arch rivals Crispa and Toyota.
Virgilio “Gil” Cortez, the 1976 PBA Rookie of the Year from Toyota, and the lead organizer of the February 18 bash, has been in constant talks with his counterpart from the Redmanizer camp, Fortunato “Atoy” Co. The tentative arrangement is to have the grand reunion sometime December this year where several of the players based overseas can spend the holiday season in the country.
Toyota team owner and Coach Dante Silverio, the prime catalyst behind this planned affair, is hosting a gathering of his former Toyota stalwarts along with Crispa greats Co, Philip Cezar, Bogs Adornado, Freddie Hubalde, Tito Varela, and now PSC Commissioner Fritz Gaston at his events place in Makati City on Friday, April 28, at 5PM to kick off the planning and preparation process.
Also invited are PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial and PSC Chairman Dicky Bachmann who, Cortez hopes, will lend support to this project intended for a worthy cause.
In an exclusive interview with The Rivalry, Cortez also revealed that it has been Silverio’s desire to get together with their longtime archrivals. Part of the plan is to sell memorabilia and replica jerseys and trading cards and have the grand reunion in a big venue where fans can join and participate in the celebration. Proceeds of the affair would go to a charitable institution to be agreed upon by both parties.
“Hindi na tayo bumabata,” Cortez quoted the 85-year old Silverio. “After ng Toyota reunion, mas masaya sana kung magkita-kita tayo with the Crispa guys. Maganda din ito kasi ang PBA, malapit na din mag-golden anniversary sa 2025. Let’s make the most out of every opportunity for us to rekindle our friendship and memories with one another.”
Silverio is also hoping that the Floro family, owners of Crispa, will play an active role in the organization of the grand bash. Team owner Danny Floro passed away 28 years ago although his children are still reportedly active with the family’s various businesses.
The grand reunion kickoff will also feature different personalities from various media outlets. Invited are Francis Ochoa and Musong Castillo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Lito Tacujan, Nelson Beltran and Bill Velasco of the Philippine Star, Dennis, Principe, Tessa Jazmines, Rhea Navarro, Tito Talao, Recah Trinidad, Al Mendoza, PBA anchor Sev Sarmenta, Brian Yalung of the Manila Bulletin and PTV-4, Dodo Catacutan of Spin, Rick Olivares of the Business Mirror, Ed Andaya of People’s Tonight, Pauline Versoza of CNN Philippines, Martie Bautista of TV5, Chino Trinidad of GMA News, Champ de Lunas of ABS-CBN, the An Eternity of Basketball team of Charlie Cuna, Noel Zarate, Sid Ventura and this writer, Claudia Perrine of Who The Heck Are We?, and The Rivalry Network.