LEGENDARY coach Ato Badolato passed away on Sunday.
The multi-titled former San Beda Red Cubs coach was rushed at the Philippine General Hospital on Sunday morning where he later died due to cardiac arrest. He was 74 and was supposed to turn 75 on Dec. 30.
San Beda Red Lions team manager Jude Roque and members of the Bedan community confirmed the sad news on Sunday night.
Red Cubs program
Badolato was hospitalized in November after complaining of difficulty in breathing and underwent an unsuccessful angioplasty weeks back. He was supposed to undergo another bypass surgery in March.
Badolato was the architect of the successful San Beda high school program which produced future PBA stars for the better part of the past five decades, among them the PBA's only rookie MVP Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc, Dindo Pumaren, as well as active players led by LA Tenorio, JVee Casio, and Baser Amer.
Tenorio was one of the first to honor his former coach, just moments after playing the hero's role in Ginebra's 125-121 overtime victory over Phoenix on Sunday.
He also served as the national youth coach in the late eighties and was the commissioner of the UAAP.
Even as he stepped away from the sidelines, he remained an ardent supporter of basketball as he shared his wisdom to the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC), the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, and the Fr. Martin Cup.
Badolato leaves a lasting legacy not just to the Bedan but also to the Philippine basketball community for the contributions he has made.
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