The Crispa Redmanizers were a multi-titled Filipino basketball team that played in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) from 1975 to 1984. It was one of the nine founding teams of the PBA, winning a total of thirteen PBA championships, including two grand slams. Founded in 1956 by businessman Valeriano "Danny" Floro, the team was owned by P. Floro and Sons, Inc. (defunct).
Named after the department store chain & textile company owned by the Floro family, the Redmanizers were managed by sportsman Danny Floro and was coached for many years by the legendary Virgilio "Baby" Dalupan.
Crispa won 13 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) championships in a span of nine years. Even more amazing is that the Crispa’s roster during the PBA inaugural in 1975 had five future Most Valuable Player awardees. In hindsight, this was not a mere championship team; it was an all-star team.
Crispa’s beginnings are rooted in the old Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA). In 1971, a Crispa team composed of Reynaldo Alcantara, Rudolph Kutch, Ernesto de Leon, Rodolfo Soriano, Danilo Florencio, Johnny Revilla, Adriano Papa, Jr.,Rolando Patricio, William "Bogs" Adornado, Virgilio Abarrientos, Danilo Pecache, Domingo Celis, Jr. and Rey Franco played and lost to Meralco in the MICAA championships. This Crispa team was the precursor of the professional basketball team that would dominate the PBA.
In 1973, authorities discovered that six of the team’s players had conspired with gamblers to drop a championship series against underdog Mariwasa. These six players, including four of the five starters (only Bogs Adornado was found innocent among the starting five), were served lifetime suspensions. With their line-up depleted, manager Valeriano “Danny” Floro and coach Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan were forced to rebuild. They opted to go with younger player by bringing in Mapúa Institute of Technology hotshot Fortunato “Atoy” Co, Jr. and Colegio de San Jose Recoletos standout Abet Guidaben in 1973, and Jose Rizal College’s Philip Cezar and RP Youth Team players Bernie Fabiosa and Alfredo "Freddie" Hubalde in 1974.
Very early on, Crispa’s rival for basketball supremacy was Toyota – a team spearheaded by Robert Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz, and Ramon Fernandez, stars of the old Meralco franchise. Nothing comes close to the Crispa-Toyota Rivalry. The two teams really hated each other & would rather lose to other teams than to each other. It was not uncommon to have games marred by bench clearing brawls. The two teams also had very different personalities with the fair haired and fair skinned Toyota players appealing more to the upper crust of Philippine society whereas the Redmanizers were perceived to be the team of the masses.
Toyota won the first two conferences in 1975, beating Crispa both times. Crispa finally sneaked in and clinched the Third Conference in a battle so fierce it got marred by a free-for-all. Once the Redmanizers got a taste of the championship, however, they simply did not let go. They won all three conferences in 1976, being the first PBA team to win a “grand slam”. They won another two championships in 1977, despite the loss of leading scorer and reigning MVP Adornado to a knee injury at the start of the year.
From 1978 to 1982, however, Crispa went into a title slump. They won no championships in 1978, only the All-Filipino championships in 1979 to 1981, and were blanked once again in 1982. Three conference championships in five years may be good enough for most teams, but not for the powerful Redmanizers.
The team rectified the situation by dissolving the Floro-Dalupan partnership and bringing in former U/Tex coach and president Ferdinand Marcos' son-in-law Tomas “Tommy” Manotoc to serve as coach. The team also got an infusion of young talent as amateur standouts Arturo "Bay" Cristobal, Elpidio "Yoyoy" Villamin, Padim Israel, and Mon Cruz became the newest Redmanizers. To top it all off, Crispa hired import Billy Ray Bates to augment an already awesome cast. The Redmanizers proceeded to dominate the competition, sweeping all three conference championships in 1983, another grand slam.
Crispa’s 1983 grand slam campaign, however, could not prevent the inevitable break-up of the team. Arch-rival Toyota had already disbanded prior to the start of the 1984 season as the political and economic turmoil following the assassination of opposition stalwart Senator Ninoy Aquino made it increasingly difficult for companies to finance professional basketball teams. Crispa won the first conference All-Filipino title for a total of 13 franchise titles but played poorly in the remainder of 1984 campaign. On February 1, 1985, PBA Commissioner Mariano Yengko announced the sale of Crispa’s PBA franchise to Pilipinas Shell. The sports pages of the day read out the sad and anti-climactic manner by which the legendary team was dismantled.
In alphabetical order. Members of PBA Hall of Fame and PBA Greatest Players are in boldface.Cesar Baldueza (1956)
Crispin Aldiosa (1956-1957)
Valerio "Amang" López (1958-1959)
Francisco Calilan (1960-1961)
Virgilio "Baby" Dalupan ✝ (1962-1982)
Tommy Manotoc (1983-1984)
Narciso Bernardo ✝ (1984)
Valeriano "Danny" L. Floro ✝
Ernesto "Ting" L. Floro (1983)