Up to this day, Chito Loyzaga still feels the pressure whenever his name is being mentioned next to his father, legendary basketball player Carlos Loyzaga.
The younger Loyzaga, now the auditor of the Philippine Olympic Committee, said living under the giant shadow of his father pushed him to his limit, challenging him to come up with a brilliant career in the Philippine Basketball Association.
“It was such a big shoes to fill. The pressure was really gigantic,” said the 62-year-old Loyzaga during the An Eternity of Basketball podcast over the weekend.
“Those who were his contemporaries and had seen him play would always compare me to my dad. It was really tough, especially to a young player like me back in the day.”
Loyzaga said it was really tough being the son of “King Caloy.”
Regarded as the best Filipino basketball player ever, Carlos led the national squad to the 1952 Helsinki and 1956 Stockholm Olympics, where the country finished at the ninth and seventh places, respectively.
He also served as the cornerstone of the Filipino side that dominated the Asian Games in 1951 in New Delhi, 1954 in Manila, 1958 in Tokyo and 1962 in Jakarta while having a stellar performance in the 1960 and 1963 FIBA Asia wars.
Carlos, who died in 2016 at the age of 85, served as head coach, leading YCO and Manila Bank to numerous Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association titles as well as the University of Santo Tomas in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines from 1964 to 1966.
Loyzaga admitted that his father’s record was very tough to match.
“Whether the pressure from other people was a joke or not, it was really quite challenging for my brother, Joey, and I to match that,” Loyzaga said.
“Actually, it was really intimidating.”
Loyzaga, however, said he tried his best to continue his father legacy as he wound up as one of the 40 Greatest Players of the PBA and was part of the squad that claimed the silver medal in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing.
At one point, Loyzaga earned praises for stopping the Chinese seven-footers in the gold medal match despite being only 6-foot-3.
“I was aware that I will never surpass what he had achieved, but at least there’s a semblance that you can tell that this guy is the son of the great Caloy Loyzaga,” he said.