Ramon Sadaya Fernandez was born on October 3, 1953, in the city of Maasin, located in the province of Leyte in the Philippines. He played basketball professionally in the Philippines and now serves as the Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner.
As a Philippine national basketball team member, Fernandez competed in several international competitions. Many veteran basketball commentators consider him the best PBA player the Philippines has ever seen. He holds the record for most points scored in PBA history.
PBA Highlights: Ramon Fernandez and His Basketball Career
After finishing college, Fernandez signed with the San Miguel Braves of the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) in 1972 as the first step to becoming a PBA player professionally.
When the Komatsu Komets (later renamed the Toyota Comets) was founded the following year, he switched to playing for them. For his country, he competed in multiple tournaments as a national squad member, including the 1972 ABC Under-18 Championship, 1973 ABC Championship, 1974 FIBA World Championship, 1974 Asian Games, and 1990 Asian Games.
PBA Highlights: Ramon Fernandez as PBA Player
In 1975, when the Toyota Comets were one of the nine founding clubs of the Philippine Basketball Association, Fernandez switched to the league.
From 1975 until 1983, Toyota dominated the basketball world, winning nine championships. A member of the legendary Toyota team, Fernandez won PBA MVP in 1982. Fernandez and a few of his old Toyota teammates joined Beer Hausen after the team disbanded in 1984.
The dissolution of Toyota brought Fernandez and Jaworski's long-simmering enmity into the open. In his first year with the Lucio Tan-owned franchise, Fernandez won his second MVP award in 1984. However, the team he was playing for at the time did not win a championship until after Fernandez was transferred to Tanduay for Abet Guidaben in the middle of the 1985 season.
In 1986 and 1987, Fernandez and his former teammates from Crispa, now on the Rhum Masters, won three consecutive PBA championships. By 1986, Fernandez had already won three MVP awards.
After helping the Beermen win the 1988 Reinforced Conference title, Fernandez was named the league's most valuable player for the fourth time, making history as the only player to win MVP honors with four different teams.
PBA Highlights: Ramon Fernandez San Miguel Career (1989-1994)
Fernandez was a key element in San Miguel's 1989 grand slam run, and he made apologies with opponent Jaworski in the All-Star Game by scoring an under-goal stab off a Jaworski inbound pass at halfcourt to lead the Veterans to a 132-130 triumph over the Rookie-Sophomores.
The Veterans' legendary coach at the time, Baby Dalupan, called for a historic handshake at center court between the two players to signify the conclusion of their long-running rivalry.
Although he was instrumental in his team's "triple crown" that year, veteran 36-year-old Fernandez nearly lost out on a fifth MVP award to rookie Benjie Paras in the voting.
Fernandez competed in the 1990 silver medal-winning Philippine basketball team at the Asian Games in Beijing. Although he was selected for the team to compete in the 1994 Asian Games, an injury forced him to withdraw from the competition.
This was also the last year of Fernandez's PBA career since he had previously declared his retirement.
PBA Highlights: Ramon Fernandez's Retirement
Fernandez came within five assists of averaging a triple-double for the entire 1984 season. He finished his PBA career as the league's all-time leader in points scored (18,996), second all-time in assists (5,220), first all-time in defensive rebounds (6,435), second all-time in offensive rebounds (2,217 behind Guidaben), first all-time in rebounds (8,652), first all-time in minutes played (36624:30), second all-time in games played, and second all-time in blocks (1,853).
He announced his retirement in 1994 after 1,074 games. His career stats were 17.7 ppg, 8.1 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.7 BPG, and 1.7 steals per game.
PBA Highlights: Ramon Fernandez Management Career
After his playing career was over, Fernandez entered the 1995 elections as a candidate for a senatorial seat under the banner of the Nationalist People's Coalition but lost. He was appointed the MBA's first commissioner in 1998 before the league folded.
In 2000, he was honored on April 9 (the league's anniversary) for being one of the PBA's 25 Greatest Players.
In 2003, Fernandez was responsible for serving as the tournament's Commissioner for the Collegiate Champions League. Fernandez participated in the Crispa-Toyota Reunion Game a few months before this story's events as a member of the Toyota Tamaraws. One of the game's highlights came when Fernandez sent a kick out ball to Jaworski, who promptly hit a three-pointer to give the Tamaraws a 65-61 victory over the Redmanizers archrivals.
In 2004, he also took on the role of Commissioner for the United Regional Basketball League, which no longer exists. Furthermore, on May 30, 2005, Fernandez took part in the Greatest Game, a reunion of several of the league's 25 Greatest Players, in which they lost 96-92 to the TM Greats squad.
Fernandez is one of the four commissioners of the Philippine Sports Commission, a position she was given in 2016. A subsidiary of UGE International, UGE Philippines is a market leader in solar energy solutions for commercial and industrial clients.
In 2018, Fernandez was named to the Board of Directors. He joined UGE for the first time in 2015 because he wanted to help spread awareness about renewable energy sources.
When Butch Ramirez stepped down as chair of the Philippine Sports Commission, his deputy, Fernandez, took over the position. After Ramirez's wife became ill, he took off work until July 20.
PBA Highlights: Other Honors of Ramon Fernandez
During his successful 20-year career in the Philippine Basketball Association, basketball star Ramon "El President" Fernandez of the Philippines racked up several accolades and won a number of honors (PBA).
After an outstanding run in the PBA, Fernandez discovered that he was due for another set of major honors just when he thought that he would no longer receive accolades in the future.
Even though Fernandez has grown accustomed to receiving awards, he has admitted that he still feels ecstatic that he continues to reap awards years after retiring from Asia's first play-for-pay league.
Fernandez was the first player in the PBA to win four Most Valuable Player plums. Additionally, the Philippine Sportswriters Association bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award upon the legendary athlete in the month of March.
PBA Highlights: Best PBA Player, Ramon Fernandez?
After a thorough examination of his life and professional time of Fernandez, it will be hard to take him out of the front runners when debating who the best PBA player is. His professional and managerial career speaks loudly for him.