Samboy Lim

Samboy Lim

Infobox NBA Player
name = Samboy Lim
nickname = The Skywalker

league = Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)
height_ft = 6 | height_in = 0 | weight_lbs= 180
position = Guard
team = San Miguel Beermen
nationality = Philippines
birth_date = Birth date and age|1962|4|1|mf=y
birth_place = San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
college = Colegio de San Juan de Letran
draft = 3rd overall
draft_year = 1988
draft_team = San Miguel Beermen
career_start = 1988
career_end = 1997
awards = Sportsmanship Award (1993), PBA Mr. Quality Minutes (1992), PBA Mythical Second Team (1990), PBA Mythical Second Team (1993), PBA ALL STAR Game MVP Score a record 42 Points(1990)

Avelino B. Lim, Jr. (born April 1, 1962), better known as Samboy Lim, is a former basketball player of the Philippine Basketball Association. As a forward/shooting guard, the iconic Lim distinguished himself with Magic Johnson-like ball handling skills and Julius "Dr. J" Erving leaping and dunking abilities, he is best remembered as a player who would leap towards the basket, switch the ball from one hand to the other while in mid-air, and finish off with a dunk.


Amateur career

During his high school days, Lim played for San Beda High School. He led the San Beda Red Cubs to the 1978 NCAA juniors championship. In the early 80s, he played college basketball in Letran College in the NCAA (Philippines) and helped the Knights win three straight NCAA seniors championships from 1982 to 1984.

In the amateur league during 1986, Lim played for Lhuillier in the Philippine Basketball League, then known as the Philippine Amateur Basketball League. With Lhuillier, Lim teamed up with another future PBA star, Jojo Lastimosa and they lead their team to the PABL championship.

Professional career

In his professional career, Samboy Lim was a star player for San Miguel Beer's Grand Slam title in 1989 under coach Norman Black though he usually came off the bench to spark the team's offensive attack.

In 1990, he was awarded, most valuable player award in the PBA All-Star Game where he scored 42 points (and still currently holds the number 1 record for the highest points scored ever in an All Star game).

In the 1990 Beijing Asian Games, the Philippines sent an all-star pro team, coached by Robert Jaworski, to regain the country's basketball supremacy in the Asian Games. The national team is composed of an all-star pro players such as 1990 PBA Most Valuable Player Allan Caidic, Alvin Patrimonio, Ramon Fernandez, Hector Calma, and Samboy Lim. Samboy was named into the Asian Games Basketball Mythical Five selection. The team did a great job winning all games with a large margin but lost in the final against China and the settled for the silver medal.

Samboy is known to have knee-high socks and sported jersey no. 9, his testament and tribute to his idol Julius "Dr. J" Erving even though Lim stood barely six-feet.

In 1993, Samboy was the player who got the first ever sportsmanship award for his exemplary behavior inside the playing field. Lim is also a member of the Mythical Second Team Selection twice (1990 and 1993). Having spent half of his career on the injury list because of his high-flying moves that often led to bad landings on the hard court, he never won an MVP award. Basketball aficionados regarded Lim as the most successful player who never won an MVP award. It was even believed that the sportmanship award was given because they knew that he can't complete full season to qualify for that MVP.

Samboy is an impact player who can dominate the game by penetrating to any stonewall defense. He uses his speed and hangtime to create impossible shots. With his dare-devil high flying drives to the basket, sharp outside shooting and all out hustle, Samboy electrified the crowd for decades. He earned the monicker "The Skywalker" and "The Dragon."

Samboy was unstoppable in his time. He had heart. And for some time, he was the most popular player in the PBA after Robert Jaworski. Samboy is best remembered as the only player getting a standing ovation and applause from the crowd (even of the opposing team) every time he walks up to the officials table to enter the game. He was not only popular...he was also respected and well loved and even appeared for BATIBOT, a popular kiddie show during the 80's.

Samboy was so unstoppable that isolating him, during the time that isolation plays are allowed in the PBA, would mean an automatic two points or an and one situation. He could break down defenses like bowling pins even if he is matched-up with an import. In fact Norman Black once draw...or always draw a play where everybody switch to the other side so that Samboy can isolate his defender for that easy two points.

Samboy could also throw threes and has a mean long tom added to his arsenal. In one of the invitationals where foreign teams were pitted against PBA teams, Samboy Lim saved the face of the Philippines when he single-handedly took over in the IBA-PBA challenge in 1987 where the import was a then obscure Bobby Parks.In one of the championship game against Shell...then commentator now PBL commissioner Trinidad during half time said that Shell is having a headache ( word to that effect ) in the name of S-A-M-B-O-Y because Samboy's killing Shell almost singlehandidly.

Samboy could be best remembered as the daredevil that never feared that his career might end in an instant. He was floored to the point he got bloodied in an instance where he drove against Jojo Lastimosa and was driven to unconsciousness for a moment. He also got his anterior cruciate ligament torn when he tried to drive through the baseline.

There was a time that Samboy Lim commanded P90,000 per month in salaries, which at that time was unprecedented in the history of the PBA.

Later career and retirement

In 1998, he joined the Philippine Basketball League to play for Welcoat Paints and retiring that year becoming its team manager. In 2000, He was named into the PBA's 25 Greatest Players. In his entire career in the professional league PBA, Samboy played for only one ball-club, San Miguel Beer, in which he is now serving as the current team manager.

In 2005, the PBA fans had another chance to see Samboy put his intensity and high-wire forays back on the court as he suits up for the PBA Greats Team. The PBA Greatest Game was held in the Araneta Coliseum as thousands of fans watched their favorite legends and great players of all time. Samboy scored 29 points that game.

Samboy is actively playing with the PBA Legends who just had a successful basketball tour in Melbourne and Perth, Australia. The team is composed of former Filipino Basketball Superstars such as Alvin Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, Jojo Lastimosa, Jerry Codiñera, Paul Alvarez, Chito Loyzaga, Joey Loyzaga, Manny Victorino and others. The Skywalker is also active playing and touring locally with the SMC All Stars with fellow former ballplayers Hector Calma and Allan Caidic.

Career PBA Highlights

*Member, PBA's 25 Greatest Players
*Member, 1989 San Miguel Grand Slam Team
*2-time Mythical Second Team Selection, (1990 & 1993)
*First ever recipient of the Sportsmanship Award (1993)
*4-time PBA All-Star (three times number 1 All Star Vote Getter from fans)
*1990 PBA All-Star Game MVP

Other Highlights

*NCAA MVP (Letran Knights)
*Member, 1990 Asian Games (Silver Medal)
*Member, Mythical Five (1990 Asian Games)

Winning Championships:
*NCAA Seniors Grandslam Team Letran, 1982, 1983, and 1984
*1984 FIBA Asian Club Basketball Cup Champion NCC/San Miguel Philippines, 1984
*1985 South East Asian Games Champion NCC/San Miguel Philippines, 1985
*PBA Reinforced Conference Champion (Amateur Guest Team) NCC, 1985
*William Jones Cup International Basketball Champion NCC/San Miguel Philippines, 1985
*FIBA Asia Champion NCC/San Miguel Philippines, 1986
*PABL Champions Mama's Love, 1986
*PBA Grandslam Team San Miguel Beer, 1989 Open Conference, 1989 All Filipino Conference, 1989 Reinforced Conference
*PBA All Filipino Champion San Miguel Beer, 1992
*PBA Governors Cup Champion San Miguel Beer, 1993
*PBA All Filipino Cup Champion San Miguel Beer, 1994

Memorable Moments

*37 points against mighty Banco di Roma of Italy in the 1985 FIBA World Club Championships in Girona, Spain
*27 points in San Miguel Beer's prestige-laden win over the IBA All-Stars
*42 points to help the Veterans team clobber the combined RSJ team 146-118 (June 3,1990 PBA All-Star Game)

*In 1994 All Filipino Finals Cup, Samboy made a memorable halfcourt shot at the buzzer against Coney Island. This shot made a huge impact to the game and to the series as they won the title.

*Samboy Lim pioneered the cross-over head shoulder fake. He uses this to fake and by-pass his defender.

*Free-throw habits. Samboy messes up his hair before taking a shot in the free-throw lane and he doesn't bend his knees.

*Weekly Top Ten Count Down. During his time, Samboy Lim takes over the PBA top ten plays of the week. His skywalking, driving, and passing moves is usually on the top spot every week.

*MVP Award: Aside from an all-star MVP award in the PBA, Samboy won an MVP award in the NCAA as he propelled the Letran Knights to a grandslam feat during the early 1980s.

*Injuries. Due to the style of his high-wire game, Samboy never completed a season in the PBA due to injuries. One of his tragic injuries was a heated game with Purefoods. Regaining momentum in the last quarter after trailing most of the game, Samboy drove past several defenders and was clotheslined by Jojo Lastimosa in the air. This caused Samboy's body to lose control and went flying upside down hitting his head first then shoulder on the hardwood floor. Blood spilled and he has to be taken out in a stretcher. He had a cut in his forehead that needs 18 stitches outside and 8 stitches inside to close up. Jojo a close friend of Samboy visited him at Makati Medical Center. According to Jojo, the first thing that Samboy mentioned is "Who won the game?" This is the attitude of a true sportsman and a friend. Also during that game, the collision sent Samboy in a somersault and his foot hit the board. This is one of the most tragic injury witnessed by everyone in a basketball game.

*Sportsmanship Award: In 1993 the Sports Committee of the PBA created this award for Samboy because he is a true sportsman of the game. Also according to the media, the committee wants to give this special award to Samboy in honor of his impact to the game and that he just couldn't complete a season because of injuries. For the many, this award for Samboy is almost considered an MVP award.

*Jersey Number 9: Samboy wears the number 9 since his collegiate days up to the international games and in his entire career in the PBA.

*For the love of the game: In 1993, Samboy Lim and Hector Calma volunteered to have their salary-cut in order to acquire their good friend, Allan Caidic (who is a free agent from the disbanded Presto Ice Cream). This deal resulted in multiple championships. Back then, San Miguel is an all-star-studded team composed of great players like Ramon Fernandez and Ato Agustin.

*Robert Jaworksi: Ginebra is the most popular team in the PBA. Back in the 1990s, Samboy mentioned that he also wants to play for coach Big J. If Ginebra acquired Samboy then the Skywalker would have been the all-time most popular player ever. People love the underdogs and Ginebra has millions of loyal fans. It would have been great to have seen Samboy Lim play for the people's champion team.

*Standing Ovation and applause: Samboy is the only player known to get applause and standing ovation from fans (even fans from the opposing team) as he walks to the scoring table to enter the game. He also gets a thundering roar from the crowd whenever he touches the ball.

*Idol: Along with the millions of Filipinos who grew up watching Samboy Lim, there are also many famous basketball players who idolizes him. Most of them are self-confessed Samboy Lim fan themselves. Among them are Vergel Meneses, Paul Alvarez, James Yap, Danny Ildefenso, Mac Cardona and many others. Vergel Meneses "The Aerial Voyager" learned some nifty moves from Samboy that he applied to his slashing game. During one of the many combacks of Samboy Lim, you will one of these guys watching with the crowd. Paul Alvarez even mentioned in an interview that during his teenage years he always run to watch the games of the Skywalker in the Ninoy Aquino Stadium. He remembers the times he has to fall in line with the crowd to buy tickets and watch avidly as his idol fly over his defenders. Even the great coach Big J Robert Jaworski's favorite player to field in an international games or all star exhibition is Samboy Lim. In the 1990 All Star Game, Samboy played most of the entire game under coach Jaworksi. The only time the Skywalker got a breather is when the Big J entered the game substituting him.

*The Michael Jordan of the PBA: In an Asian Journal, an author from China went to the Philippines to get a perspective of the Basketball Scene. After the visit, the author wrote that Samboy Lim is the Michael Jordan of the PBA. It is also mentioned in an article that Ron Jacobs, the famous coach of NCC/San Miguel in the International Arena, sent Samboy to the States for an operation. Ron Jacobs said to the doctor, "Please fix Samboy. He is my Michael Jordan."

*All heart: The heart and competitiveness of the dragon Skywalker Avelino "Samboy" Lim was evident especially on international competitions. In 1985, The Philippine Team competed for World Club Basketball Championship in Girona, Spain. Samboy played his very best. The Philippine team wearing the San Miguel jersey were loved by the European audiences due to the fact they were the smallest team competing on the tournament which includes the national teams of Yugoslavia, Italy (Drazen Petrovic that time was guarding Hector Calma). He led the team with his patented opencourt and acrobatic shots scoring his 37 points performance against mighty Banco di Roma of Italy. Because of the intensity and competitiveness, during the game Samboy suffered extreme exhaustion and fatigue. He played his heart out till the end. After the game, he has to be carried out in a stretcher with an oxygen tank. His dedication and courage made him an instant folk hero. Then it happened again in their game against the US Team in the 1985 William Jones Cup where they won the game and became champions.

*SMB: Samboy played his entire 9 year career in the PBA with San Miguel Beer. He retired in 1997. He is one of only two players - the other being Alvin Patrimonio (Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants) who played for 1 team in his whole PBA career.

External links

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