Commissioner Triggerman

Allan Caidic has done everything there is to do on the basketball court. He owns the top scoring records for local players in the Philippine Basketball Association. He was named to the 1990 Asian Games Mythical Team on the first-ever all-professional team in the open basketball era. The Triggerman won eight championships in the league, and played with many of the greatest basketballers in history. Now, he’s taking on a new role as commissioner of the Pilipinas Super League, an unexpected but welcome opportunity.

“It was sudden. I did not expect that it would be offered to me,” Caidic admits. “At the time they approached me, I had no commitments. I was not with any team; I was no longer with the PBA. It’s a blessing. It’s about time. Basketball is our passion. We’re all working together to fulfill the goal and vision of the PSL.”

Now entering its second month, the newly-reformatted league is playing the President’s Cup, which involves a single-round robin regular season among the 20 teams which will end late in the first quarter of 2024. After that, the top 16 teams will advance to a US NCAA-style “Sweet 16” format, wherein the top eight teams carry a twice-to-beat advantage. Next, the quarterfinals will be similarly played. The semifinals and finals will then shift to home and away, best-of-three series.

Caidic’s responsibilities include being at the games together or alternately with his deputy Gerry Esplana, attending meetings, watching over the referees, and making sure the conduct of games is done as close to flawlessly as possible. For example, he led the advance party to the league’s first double-header outside of Metro Manila in Palayan, Nueva Ecija Saturday night. It’s a big responsibility, but Allan is not alone.

“He’s really helped (Pilipinas Super League) a lot, especially me,” explains PSL president Cris Bautista, who is deeply experienced in organizing competitive basketball organizations. “He’s taken on a lot of my load. We work together closely. You can see his dedication. Sometimes he calls me early with all his questions. One more advantage is how he is respected by the players. When he talks to them, they get what we’re trying to accomplish.”

In the same interview with The STAR, Allan also answered the age-old question why there has not yet been another shooter like him. This question has lingered since December of 2001, when his former coach Ron Jacobs handled the tryouts for the national team and, despite the wealth of PBA and amateur talent available, rued that he “didn’t see another Caidic.” Jacobs succumbed to a stroke the following day. Until now, there has not been a new Triggerman.

“I was lucky, because I was a scorer, then I embraced my role as a shooter,“ said the gifted left-hander. “We have a lot of shooters. But due to the influence of the NBA and so on at that time, the tendency is to go one-on-one. Sometimes, I laugh at young players who are shooters, have an open shot and a rebounder under the basket, but still choose to make it fancy. It’s the mentality. If your team creates plays for you, embrace being a shooter.”

There could also be another answer: that we will not see another Allan Caidic in this lifetime.

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