San Miguel, Ginebra pioneer player Norberto 'Norby' Rivera dies at the age of 65
Norby Rivera (seated, second from left) with the pioneering Gilbey's Gin team in the PBA.

PBA PIONEER player Norberto (Norby) Z. Rivera died on Monday after a long battle with cancer. He was 65 years old.

Rivera played for the San Sebastian Stags in the NCAA and for the San Miguel Beermen in a seven-year PBA career (1975 to 1981) that also saw him become part of the first Gilbey's Gin team (later renamed Ginebra) to see action in Asia's first pro league.

The 5-11 forward was also part of the Philippine team coached by the late Fely Fajardo that took the 1972 Asian Youth championship. His teammates were Ed Carvajal, Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Joy Dionisio, Rey Franco, Miguel Bilbao, Fernandez, Rino Salazar, Jimmy Noblezada, Ompong Segura and Marcelino Diputado.

He was the vice chairman of Manila Sports Council (Masco) prior to his passing.

His remains lie in state at the Loyola Memorial Park Chapel in Marikina City. Inurnment is on Saturday.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph