Dionisio Calvo

Dionisio Calvo

Dionisio "Chito" Calvo (November 20, 1903 – December 9, 1977) was a Filipino basketball player, swimmer, and national team head coach. He was one of the greatest Filipino sportsmen in history and helped in the development of both Philippine and Asian basketball.

Born in Manila, Philippines, he was a guard for the championship-winning Philippine basketball team alongside Lou Salvador in the 1925 Far Eastern Games, though he earlier represented the country not as a basketball player. He was a member of the Philippine national swimming team that competed in the 1921 and 1923 Far Eastern Games.

Calvo led the University of the Philippines to the 1926 NCAA title but earlier captained the Manila Sporting Goods Co. to Philippine Open title. He eventually retired to focus on college coaching.

His coaching career was a success, mentoring basketball championship teams of San Beda College, and the University of Santo Tomas. He also coached the champion teams of De La Salle College in basketball and football.

Later, Calvo coached the Philippines men's national basketball team to a fifth place finish in the 1936 Summer Olympics held at Berlin, Germany. The fifth place finish remained the best finish by the national team and by an Asian country in the Olympic Games basketball history. The team included Filipino legends Ambrosio Padilla, Charlie Borck and Jacinto Ciria Cruz.

In 1938, Calvo organized the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA). MICAA was a commercialized amateur basketball league that help shaped Philippine basketball for more than 30 years.

After the Second World War, Calvo coached the second Philippine Olympic basketball team in the 1948 Summer Olympics held at London, England, United Kingdom. The team finished 12th but set a new record by thrashing Iraq 102-30 in their opening game. The Philippines was the first country to score over 100 points in a single game of the Olympic Games basketball history.

Calvo was also the head coach of the first Philippine national team that captured the basketball gold medal in the 1951 Asian Games and includes basketball legends, Carlos Loyzaga and Lauro Mumar.

Calvo along with Ambrosio Padilla initiated the formation of the Asian Basketball Confederation (now the FIBA Asia) in 1960 and served as its first ever Secretary-General with Padilla as its first president.

He was the first Filipino and a charter inductee for the FIBA Hall of Fame when he was inducted as a contributor on March 1, 2007.

Awards and achievements

External links

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