Retro PBA: Allan Caidic scores 79 points, hits 17 treys vs Ginebra

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November 22, 1991 marked two monumental births: Allan Caidic’s first-born and his scoring record for the ages.

As his wife was on labor for first daughter Marisse, The Triggerman  was busy shooting the lights out of the old University of Life Theater and Recreational Arena (now known as the Philsports Arena). Allan Caidic, the 1990 PBA Most Valuable Player, was right on target and in just two and a half quarters, the dead shot lefty swingman  was on his way to putting up a milestone. He set a new scoring single-game record by finishing with 79 points against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.

What happened before the game

The Tivoli Milkmasters, the new brand being carried by the Gokongwei-owned Great Taste team, and Ginebra San Miguel were about to play a no-bearing game. After a double-round robin semifinal among the top five teams, Ginebra has already clinched a finals berth against the Alaska Milkmen for the 1991 PBA Third Conference title. As for Tivoli, they are out of contention and are playing just to complete the eight games.

Earlier that day, Caidic’s wife Milotte, was already brought to the hospital. After she was admitted, the doctor told a tensed Allan that his wife will be on extended labor. Sensing the tensed state of  the reigning MVP, the doctor suggested that he play the game against Ginebra to take his mind off it. Thus, Caidic rushed to the ULTRA.

The early part of the game

Seeing a tense Caidic, Coach Jimmy Mariano did not play him in the first quarter to calm him down. It wouldn’t take long before he would be dispatched in by his long-time coach after the Milkmasters had a dismal showing in the early goings.

In his guesting on Eric Menk’s “Staying Major” Podcast, Caidic admitted that The Chairman of the Board Abe King suggested that they break a record to keep them motivated. The Milkmasters agreed to rewrite the PBA record for most three-pointers made in a game. The record holder: Caidic himself with 15 3-pointers against Alaska on November 2, 1989. This means that they would look for the deadliest shooter in the league at every given time.

The former UE Red Warrior played in the second quarter and started his offensive barrage. He scored his first two baskets off assists by Hernani Demigillo and Onchie Dela Cruz, respectively. Then, he made back-to-back three-pointers to bring his tally up to 10. Four easy lay-ups later and Caidic has 18. He scored 26 points (12 points off treys) in that quarter alone. That total is often enough for an entire game. But, he is just getting warmed up.

The third quarter explosion

Caidic started his onslaught with a trey off a cross-court pass from import Terrance Bailey. Two more consecutive passes from Bailey turned into triples. Seven of his eight initial baskets were from the trifecta. He would add 14 more points including two more three-pointers to compile 37 points in the third period alone which is a PBA record for most points by a player in a quarter. His nine conversions from three-point territory in the same quarter is also a PBA record.

Capping off a legendary performance

Even though the 1987 PBA Rookie of the Year left the game about halfway through the fourth quarter, he was still able to add 16 points, 12 of which came from 3-point territory. He tied the then single-game scoring record by a local PBA player of 71 points previously posted by Bong Alvarez with a corner three, then immediately shattered the mark of “Mr. Excitement”  with another trey off a King assist. He connected on 17 trifectas in this game, which to date is still unmatched. After the game, Caidic went back to the hospital to tend to his wife.

Will Caidic’s records ever be broken?

At a time when PBA franchises were eager to build super teams, Caidic’s records will stand the test of time. With emphasis on ball distribution and the legalization of the zone defense, it is easier to make a shot now. During his heyday, teams employed man-to-man defense and the zone is illegal. Just start with the most three-pointers in a game. He had to break his own record of 15 so no one else has even sniffed that record.

Kenneth Duremdes once made 10 3-pointers in 2003 and Marcio Lassiter also had the same number in a 2015 game. Still, those are seven short of the record. Plus, it seems that majority of the players in the PBA now can consistently make three-pointers which lessens the number of attempts per person.

So if we can have the 17 3-pointers made by Caidic etched in stone, what about the 79 points? If it seems easier to break, think again. Over 26 years later, no one came closer but  Asi Taulava, who tallied 51  points in one game for Talk N’ Text in 2001. That’s not even enough to break The Triggerman’s record for most points in a half. So is this record in danger? I doubt it. Thus, the legend of this game will be swished from one generation to the next.

Other stats from Caidic’s 79-point game

• Tivoli won over Ginebra, 162-149. Caidic nearly scored half his team’s points.
• His 27 3-point shot attempts is also a PBA single-game record.
• Caidic only had four free-throw attempts, making all of them.
• He had a scorching 74% field-goal percentage on 39 shot attempts.
• Cadel Mosqueda is the second-leading scorer for Tivoli in the game with 16 points.