|No. 41 – Retired|
29 August 1930 |
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|College||San Beda College|
|1954–1964||YCO Painters (MICAA)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Carlos M. Loyzaga (born 29 August 1930) is a Filipino former basketball player and coach.
Nicknamed "The Big Difference", he is widely regarded as the greatest Filipino basketball player of all-time. He was the dominant player in Philippine basketball during the 1950s and the early 1960s. Loyzaga was a two-time Olympian (1952, 1956), as a member of the Philippines men's national basketball team.
|Competitor for Philippines|
|FIBA World Championship|
|Bronze||1954 Rio de Janeiro||Team competition|
|FIBA Asia Championship|
|Gold||1960 Manila||Team competition|
|Gold||1963 Taipei||Team competition|
|Gold||1951 New Delhi||Team competition|
|Gold||1954 Manila||Team competition|
|Gold||1958 Tokyo||Team competition|
|Gold||1962 Jakarta||Team competition|
Loyzaga learned to play basketball in the neighborhood Tervalac basketball courts in Teresa, Sampaloc, 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 such promise in the young Loyzaga's height and ability that without thinking twice, he offered to train Loyzaga for his junior PRATRA 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. Standing at 191 cm (6 ft 3 in), he towered over most other players in the league and came to be a dominating player. Loyzaga was a rarity in that he could play all three positions – center, forward and guard – with equal efficiency. But it was at center that Loyzaga was most recognized – a tough, deadly and graceful slotman who sowed terror in the heart of his adversaries. Loyzaga was called "The Big Difference” because his absence could mean defeat and he could turn defeat into victory with his presence. 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. But when Loyzaga returned to play, San Beda retired the Zamora Trophy by winning the championships three times in 1951, 1952 and 1955.
Loyzaga joined the fabled YCO Painters in 1954 after powering PRATRA and PRISCO 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 Painter’s head coach after retiring in 1964.
Philippine Men's Basketball Team
Loyzaga was a two-time Olympian (1952, 1956), 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. Loyzaga himself finished as one of the tournament’s leading scorer with a 16.4 points-per-game average and was named in the tournament's All-Star selection.
Loyzaga started as player-coach for YCO during the 1960s. After retiring in 1964, he became the head coach of YCO and the UST men's basketball team in the UAAP during the 1960s. In the Philippine Basketball Association, he coached U/Tex (1975-1976) and Tanduay (1977-1979).
Loyzaga was born in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro to a Basque family and the son of former Philippine national football team player Joaquin Loyzaga. He survived the second world war 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.
- 1951 NCAA Basketball Champions (San Beda College)
- 1952 NCAA Basketball Champions (San Beda College)
- 1954 National Basketball Champions (YCO Painters)
- 1955 National Basketball Champions (YCO Painters)
- 1956 National Basketball Champions (YCO Painters)
- 1957 National Basketball Champions (YCO Painters)
- 1958 National Basketball Champions (YCO Painters)
- 1959 National Basketball Champions (YCO Painters)
- 1960 National Basketball Champions (YCO Painters)
- 1964 MICAA Champions (YCO Painters)
- 1951 Asian Games champions
- 1952 Olympic Games, ninth place
- 1954 Asian Games champions
- 1954 FIBA World Championship bronze medalist
- FIBA World Championship All-Star Mythical Five (1954)
- 1956 Olympic Games, seventh place
- 1958 Asian Games champions
- 1959 FIBA World Championship, eighth place
- 1960 FIBA Asia Championship champions
- FIBA Asia Championship All-Star Mythical Five (1960)
- 1962 Asian Games champions
- 1963 FIBA Asia Championship champions
- 1967 FIBA Asia Championship champions, head coach
- 1968 Olympic Games, 13th place, head coach
- Philippine National Basketball Hall of Fame (1999)
- Philippine Sportswriter Association Athletes of the 20th Century award (2000)
- Bocobo, Christian and Celis, Beth, "Legends and Heroes of Philippine Basketball", (Philippines, 2004)
- Dela Cruz, Juan, "Book of Pinoy Facts and Records", (National Bookstore, Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 2004)