The brand that built the iconic PBA basketball team of the ‘70s takes its fans on a nostalgic journey.
The well-loved Crispa “Redmanized” T-shirts are hitting the market once again via Crispa.ph.
At the helm of the enterprise is Renzo Floro Herbosa, grandson of Crispa founder Valeriano “Danny” Floro. Renzo’s mother, Dr. Valerie Floro Herbosa is the youngest daughter of the popular sportsman.
Renzo may have been born decades after Crispa’s (both the T-shirt brand and the basketball team) glory days, but his family made sure that the younger Floros had a clear sense of the brand’s impact on Filipino culture.
“I heard all the stories about Crispa and how it was during their heyday, and Mama would always talk to us about reviving the brand,” he related.
An icon built by an icon
PBA fans will forever remember the ‘70s Crispa - Toyota rivalry. The two teams dominated the basketball season from 1975-1984. Back then when the Crispa Redmanizers and Toyota Tamaraws were in the court, the streets were deserted because fans were glued to the game airing on radio and television.
The iconic Crispa Redmanizers basketball team was formed by Renzo’s Lolo Danny. Danny Floro was the son of textile magnate Don Pablo Floro. Danny loved basketball with a passion and was often complimented for his skills. But more than the game, he was more interested in grooming champions.
“I played the game, but I was only good at tirahan (shooting). People said I was good, but I didn’t believe them. So I just concentrated on maintaining a team,” he shared in the book Grand Slam published by the now-defunct P. Floro & Sons Inc. in 1977.
Renzo’s grandfather nurtured his love for the game by managing basketball teams. He would spend his own money so his teams could play in provincial leagues during town fiestas. The constant search for talented players gave birth to the iconic Crispa basketball team. In the span of nine years, the all-star team won 13 PBA championships.
The team was called the “Redmanizers” which actually refers to a textile process, wherein the cotton cloth was pre-shrunk to avoid further shrinkage after washing. “The term was coined by Lolo Danny. It basically means ‘shrunk to fit’ and Crispa became known for its ‘shrunk to fit’ shirts,” Renzo explained.
The team was founded in 1956, but the popular T-shirt brand had been in the market as early as 1948. The all-star line-up was a mix of hotshots like William “Bogs” Adornado, Atoy Co, Abet Guidaben, Philip Cezar, Bernie Fabiosa, Freddie Hubalde, and many others. They lorded the sports scene in their green jerseys, specially threaded by P. Floro & Sons textile manufacturing company.
Continuing a legacy
Renzo, who left law school to pursue the brand’s revival, said he had always wanted to “bring Crispa to how it was before”.
“I want to continue the legacy because it means a lot to my family.”
Sports fans can relive the Crispa fever with limited-edition green shirt available at Crispa.ph. The shirt is made from 100 percent cotton and carries the same soft feel for which the brand is known. The brand logo is embroidered in gold.
Renzo announced more products are in the pipeline, including Crispa Comfort, a collection of soft and comfortable shirts in various colors. A major comeback is also set for Crispa 400, a line of plain-colored cotton tops which was popular in the ‘70s. Renzo also plans to have “throwback” jerseys which will document the team’s championship years.
Aside from basketball fans, Danny Floro’s grandson is looking forward to introducing Crispa to the younger set. He plans to work with artists to come up with interesting designs. Apart from selling online, they will also have pop-up stores in various locations.
Those who wish to remember the team’s glory days can check out the “Kwentong Crispa” series on Crispa’s Facebook page. Renzo has gotten in touch with some players, who were just as thrilled to be part of the exciting journey.
“We featured Bogs Adornado and Atoy Co with their kids, this is our way of bridging the generation gap,” he said.
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