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    Crispa player and Samboy Lim's discoverer Jun Celis passes away

    Mar 17, 2021

    THE man who paved the way for Filipino basketball fans to witness the greatness of Avelino ‘Samboy’ Lim has passed away.

    Former MICAA (Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association) player Atty. Domingo ‘Jun’ Celis Jr. died on Wednesday in Cebu City, where he’s been based for more than three decades.

    His death was announced by his son, NLEX assistant team manager and former University of the Philippines standout Raymond Celis. He was 80.

    Known for his physical plays, Celis suited up for the Yco Painters, Crispa Redmanizers, and U-Text Wranglers in the defunct MICAA during the 60s and 70s, and was husband of the late sportswriter and columnist Beth Celis.

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      But his best contribution to Philippine basketball was discovering a then 15-year-old Samboy Lim while he was playing in a neighborhood inter-color tournament on the invitation of Celis' neighbor at Philam Life Homes in Quezon City.

      Celis brought Lim to San Sebastian but unfortunately, he failed to make the grade. He then recommended the future basketball superstar and Hall of Famer to Letran, then under coach Larry Albano, who welcomed the reed-thin but high flying guard with open arms.

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      Lim steered the Knights to three straight NCAA men’s basketball championship from 1982 to 1984, paving the way for the start of what would become a legendary playing career in both the national team and the pro league.

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        Celis later served as agent and manager of the player dubbed the ‘Skywalker.’

        After his playing days, Celis took up law and passed the bar. He once served as legal counsel of the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP) during its early years.

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