Philip D. Cezar is a retired Filipino professional basketball player in the PBA. He was part of the fabled Crispa Redmanizers ballclub that won two PBA Grand Slams, in 1976 and 1983. He won the MVP award in 1980. He was also known as Tapal King and The Scholar.
Coming from the JRU Heavy Bombers, some consider Cezar the best “thinking” power forward in the history of the PBA. He is the perfect example of a power forward with finesse, unlike contemporary “four” players like Marc Pingris, Eric Menk and Danny Ildefonso, and much earlier, Alvin Patrimonio and Nelson Asaytono, who rely primarily on sheer power and brute strength. Though barely 6’3″ and less than 200 pounds, he was usually given the unenviable task of guarding tall imports from opposing teams. On defense, his unusually long arms served him in good stead, using them in his famous “umbrella-like” defense and two-handed shot-blocks. And though he played the No. 4 position for most of his career, he was like a second point guard on the floor, often orchestrating big plays and dishing out timely passes. He could also run the floor and finish fastbreaks with his patented “stretch” lay-up. He is best remembered as the very first one-on-one champion of the league when he defeated Ramon Fernandez in the finals of the 1979 Sprite One-on-One challenge where he won P25,000.00.
In 2000, he was named as one of the PBA’s 25 greatest players of all-time in elaborate awards ceremonies that highlighted the 25th anniversary of the league.
In 2005, he was one of the twelve initial inductees to the PBA Hall of Fame alongside fellow Crispa players Atoy Co and Bogs Adornado, and Toyota stalwarts Robert Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz and Fernandez together with former PBA Commissioners Leo Prieto, Emerson Coseteng and Atty. Rudy Salud as well as legendary Crispa coach and team manager, respectively, Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan and Danny Floro, and the late anchorman Joe Cantada.
He finished his illustrious PBA career as the No.6 all-time leading scorer with 12,077 points behind Fernandez, Abet Guidaben, Patrimonio, Atoy Co and Asaytono. He also is the fifth all-time best rebounder with 5,834 total rebounds behind Fernandez, Guidaben, Jerry Codiñera and Patrimonio and was No. 2 in shotblocks with 1,370. He also had 3,130 assists (3.4 assists per game), 599 steals, converted 2066/2767 free throws in 28127:05 minutes played in 918 games. He, along with Fernandez, are the only two players in PBA history who has accumulated at least 12,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 1,000 shot blocks.
Mr Stretch.. the only filipino player before who can guard much taller imports like Big Billy Robinson . He can even block them even inside the shaded lane with his long arms. He is the one on one king beating Mon Fernandez and Rey Lazaro of Tanduay. He can shoot 3 points and he love to shoot banking shots also.