FORMER PBA player and coach Eliezer `Ely’ Capacio passed away early Sunday morning a few hours after suffering a massive stroke.
He was 58.
His death came almost on the eve when San Mig Super Coffee, the very same franchise which he steered to its first ever All-Filipino championship in 1991, guns for a sixth Philippine Cup crown – and 11th overall – at the expense of Rain or Shine when Game 5 of the season-opening Finals is played at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Capacio led Purefoods, behind a team bannered by a talented young crew of Jerry Codinera, Dindo Pumaren, his younger brother Glenn Capacio, and now team manager Alvin Patrimonio, to a 3-2 best-of-five win over Yeng Guiao and Sarsi during the All-Filipino Finals 23 years ago.
Overall, Capacio coached Purefoods for five conferences with a 45-48 overall record, according to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon. The Hotdogs also made the All-Filipino Finals in 1992 under his watch, but lost to San Miguel in six games.
“He took over the team after the 1991 First Conference when Baby Dalupan resigned. Then Chot Reyes replaced him at the start of the 1993 season, although that year also began his corporate career with San Miguel Corp.,” Mangonon recalled.
Prior to his coaching career, Capacio played for Tanduay for eight seasons, playing for a total of 324 games and averaged 5.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
He is San Miguel Corporation’s alternate governor to the PBA Board at the time of his death.