The Philippine basketball team, captained by Carlos Loyzaga, placed third in the World Basketball Championship (WBC) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1954. The Philippines beat the favored Uruguay team, 67-63, to clinch the third place on November 5, 1954, which was to become the greatest mark in the history of Philippine basketball. As expected, the U.S. team won the title against the host Brazil.
Loyzaga was chosen as a member of the Mythical Five - the world's best basketball players in 1954. His teammates included Lauro Mumar, Florentino Bautista and Mariano Tolentino.
In 1959, the Philippines also placed 9th at the WBC held in Chile.
The Philippine basketball team won the title in the first Asian Basketball Conference (ABC) championship held in Manila in 1960. It duplicated the feat in 1963, 1967, 1973, 1986 and 1996. Basketball has also produced four consecutive Asiad gold medals for the Philippines. The country won the basketball gold in the 1951 New Delhi Asiad, 1954 Manila Asiad, 1958 Tokyo Asiad, and 1962 Jakarta Asiad. The Philippine basketball team, composed of professional celebrities, won a silver medal in the 1990 Asiad, and a bronze medal in 1998 Asiad. The country was the consistent winner in the basketball event at the Southeast Asian Games.