This feature is part of 7 Days of Jaworski, InterAKTV’s special tribute to the Living Legend, whose jersey will be retired on Sunday, July 8.
InterAKTV counted down the Top 10 Point Guards in PBA History last March. In a country where the average male stands just 5-foot-4, it only makes sense for basketball-crazy Philippines to produce thousands, if not millions, of point guards.
Among them, Jaworski ranked first in the history of the pro league. Younger people only know him as a legend, but those who saw him play know that he’s a pretty damn great player. Here’s what we wrote to justify his top ranking:
When talking about the Big J, we spend so much time talking about the impact of his intangibles — so let’s turn that on its head and talk about his tangibles.
He remains the PBA’s all-time leader in assists. As a guard, he is sixth all-time in rebounds. He is third in PBA history in most games played, which becomes more impressive when you consider the fact that he was already 29 years old when the league played its first game in 1975.
In 1978, he won the Most Valuable Player plum by posting perhaps the finest individual season in league history. He averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game en route to leading Toyota to two titles. He was the team’s leading local rebounder despite having superstar center Mon Fernandez on his team, and did it when the PBA did not impose a height limit on imports.
In 1988, at the tender age of 42 years old, he scored 28 points for Añejo in a game-clinching victory in the All-Filipino conference over Purefoods.
Put it this way: the PBA will probably see another dominant small man like Johnny Abarrientos and a complete Filipino-American guard like Ricky Brown. But there will never, ever be another Robert Jaworski.
For the full list of the PBA’s top point guards, click here.