Many PBA fans recall that on November 21, 1991, the day his wife gave birth to their first child, Mariel Clarisse, Allan Caidic dropped 79 points to break Bong Alvarez’s record of 71 points set seven months before. He also broke his own record for most number of three-point shots in one game with 17, two more than his two-year record of 15.
What many may have forgotten, though, is that on November 2, 1989, Caidic had a great night as well by scoring 68 points while jacking up 15 treys, beating the previous PBA record of 14 established by Hills Bros. import, Jose Slaughter, in 1987. Curiously, the UE superstar achieved this in a 175-159 victory against the Alaska Milkmen on a Thursday evening.
The Rivalry loves record setting accomplishments, and for this week we take a look back 33 years ago when Caidic had his first big scoring outburst.
The 1989 Reinforced Conference saw six teams face each other twice in a double round robin elimination format. The lowest-placed team was eliminated, with the remaining teams entering the semifinals carrying their elimination round record. The semifinals was a double round robin format, with the top two teams entering the finals.
Teams were reinforced by imports with a ceiling of 6’1. The list of imports were Sean Chambers of Alaska, Carlos Briggs of Añejo Rum, Terrance Bailey of Presto, Dexter Shouse of Purefoods, Keith Smart who was later replaced by Ennis Whatley of San Miguel Beer, and Steve Burtt, later replaced by Andy Grosvenor of Formula Shell.
Assistant coach Adriano “Bong” Go took over the coaching mantle at the start of the season vice multi-titled mentor Baby Dalupan, who was appointed team manager. Go was eventually replaced by Jimmy Mariano at the start of the Reinforced Conference. Mariano handled the team in the early ‘80s prior to being replaced by Dalupan, who eventually moved to Purefoods to handle the Hotdogs midway through the First Conference.
Presto brought in nine new players: Manny Victorino and Romy Ang from Shell, Padim Israel, Onchie Dela Cruz, Totoy Marquez and Willie Generalao from Purefoods, Marte Saldaña from Alaska, and rookie centers Zaldy Realubit and Nani Demegillo from the draft. They lost Philip Cezar who went to Añejo, Pido Jarencio and Sonny Cabatu who moved to Purefoods, Arnie Tuadles who went to Shell, and released Atoy Co, Rey Ramos, Noni Robles, Joel Santos and Aldo Perez to free agency. It was a totally different team from the previous season as the franchise was ready to give Caidic the leadership mantle. True enough, Caidic was more than ready to assume his new responsibility when he upped his averages of 16.8 points per game in his rookie 1987 year to 21.8 points per game in 1988 to a sizzling season best 27.4 points per game in 1989.
Presto was the conference’s best offensive team, averaging a phenomenal 141.6 points per game and making 56.6% of their field goal attempts. Caidic and Bailey led the team, averaging 82 points per game, with Bailey contributing 50.7 and Caidic tallying more than 31 a game in the Reinforced. Bailey also averaged 10.7 dimes in 18 games with the Tivolis.
Presto finished third overall in the standings with an even 5-5 record, tied with Añejo and Alaska, but just one game behind tournament leaders SMB and Purefoods, both toting a 6-4 card. The Tivolis, with one of the deepest local benches in the league and ably backed up by a scoring and playmaking import, were expected to figure well in the playoffs. In the first game of the November 2, 1989 twinbill, Presto faced Alaska for their first game in the semifinals. They trounced the Milkmen behind record-breaking performances from Caidic and Bailey.
The Triggerman not only broke the nine-year old highest scoring record for one game by a local of 64 points jointly held by Danny Florencio (achieved in 1977 while playing for 7-Up) and Bogs Adornado (done in 1980 as a U/Tex Wrangler) by notching 68 markers, he also broke the two-year record held by Slaughter by converting his 15th triple at the 2:01 mark of the fourth quarter. He also tied Ricardo Brown’s all-time highest score in one half with 41 points, delighting the crowd with his remarkable marksmanship.
In the post-game interview, Caidic said, “This is the best thing that has ever happened in my career. I thank the Lord, my family, friends, the press for being there to see me through.”
Caidic’s performance that night was so impressive that the previous record of most triples by a local that he held with nine treys (accomplished in August 1988) was broken as early as 9:59 left in the fourth quarter. Presto’s total of 18 treys (15 from Caidic, 2 from Bailey and 1 from Joy Carpio) also eclipsed the all-time best of 15 achieved by Ginebra, Northern Consolidated and Hills Bros. on different dates.
Bailey, on the other hand, achieved not just a triple double of 58 points, 11 boards and 20 dimes in 48 minutes but also broke the record for most assists by an import in a game. The prized import in the post-game interview, said, “What have I got to say? Allan’s the best. There are only two people I know of who can shoot that way,” in reference to the NBA’s Larry Bird and Drazen Petrovic.
The game became one-sided at the start of the third quarter when Presto went on a rampage, aided by Caidic’s three triples. After 36 minutes of play, he already had 8 out of 13 attempts from beyond the arc, with Presto leading 128-102 at the end of the third.
With the game out of reach, Mariano opted to field back Caidic for Carpio at the 11:23 mark. Caidic, in an online interview with The Rivalry, admitted he was aware of breaking his own record of 9 triples in a game and perhaps, even achieve more by breaking Slaughter’s all-time high. Caidic came up with a scintillating fourth, converting 7 of his 13 rainbow attempts to break the previous mark of Slaughter. “When I got my 15th three-point shot, I was relieved. Then, someone whispered to me the record of 64 points by Bogs and Danny. And with Alaska trying to catch up, Coach Jimmy fielded me back in to make sure victory would be ours. That was when I made two more baskets to break the record,” Caidic added. “I was very happy. Sobrang saya kasi nasama na ako sa PBA record books on my third year pa lang. Siguro dahil sa sobrang na-embrace ko yun three point shot and that na-attach na din yun three point shooting sa name ko kaya I cherish this record talaga.”
Caidic admitted he was very fortunate to have Bailey as his teammate. Bailey, incidentally, was also Presto’s import when the former UE hotshot scored 79 points two years after. “We knew how explosive he was,” Caidic revealed. “In practice, you can see his strength, that time, he was called Little Julius (in reference to Julius Erving) because of his dunking prowess. I felt I earned Terrence’s trust because every time he got doubled or pag masama opensa niya, he’d give me the ball and I would score.” Caidic later said that there was no plan to break any record prior to the game as the objective was to win as many games as possible to earn a Finals ticket.
Unfortunately, Presto ended up winning only one more game against Purefoods then lost their last 4 games and wound up with a 7-11 record after the semifinals, finishing fifth overall.
Looking back, Caidic admitted there was some pressure on his part to lead the team. Losing Philip Cezar hurt them but they were able to snag Victorino from Shell. Without Brown also who went to San Miguel Beer, he knew that he would have to carry the brunt of the team’s offense.
With King, Realubit and Demegillo, Presto had one of the more formidable frontline rosters in the league. “The rotation changed a bit, the timing also got affected, plus we had a new coach, who I worked with at UE, but the stability was retained,” Caidic said. He then added, “Nag-iba ang direction ng Presto, yun core with the inclusion of Padim (Israel), Willie (Generalao), Totoy (Marquez) and Onchie (Dela Cruz) gave us a Purefoods / Tanduay outlook where as before, Crispa core yun amin.”
“Lumaki papel ko kasi naging go-to guy nako. Before, andun sina Ricky, Atoy and Arnie who would score any given time. Nag-evolve ang laro ko requiring me to play a bigger part,” Caidic said.
Bailey also was a big help because he was a scorer. With their prolific import scoring 50 points a game, Caidic felt that “the defense had to focus on another player as well, allowing me some more open looks at the basket.”
Caidic then opened up by saying “yun three-point record, I felt mas prestigious yun than beating the 64-point record of Bogs and Danny. Una, I broke a record established by an import, so big deal yun, parang malaki ang bearing talaga. I also got to see Slaughter make those 14 treys kaya memorable sakin yun. I didn’t get to see the record-breaking performances of Danny Florencio and Bogs Adornado. Kumbaga, naging malaking bonus na lang talaga yun pag-break ng record nila Danny at Bogs.”
When asked by The Rivalry which he cherished more, Caidic said that he felt his stint with Presto was more memorable, “because of the number of records I achieved with the team. Not to say na SMB wasn’t since I also won a couple of titles there, pero, with Presto kasi, I established my identity with the team right away because of the support of the coaches and teammates. Tapos, naging team ko na talaga ito when Philip and Ricky left.”
Caidic then ended by saying, “in a sense, parang breakout year ko din yung 1989 as my scoring averages went up from 21 to 27 points per game. It somehow prepared me to face more challenges that led to my winning the MVP award the following year”
You can watch Alan Caidic’s Episode 4 interview with of “An Eternity of Basketball” by clicking on this link: