PRAYERS and tributes poured in following the death of two-time Olympian and former PBA player Alfonso ‘Boy’Marquez on Wednesday.
He was 82.
Former teammates and contemporaries extolled Marquez for his contributions to Philippine basketball as a member of the national squad that competed in the 1960 (Rome) and 1968 (Mexico) Olympics, where he is best remembered for shackling South Korean hotshot Shin Dong Pa together with the great Ed Ocampo.
He was also part of the last men’s basketball team that won the gold in the 1962 Asian Games and the first ever Philippine squad that won the inaugural FIBA Asia Championship (then known as the Asian Basketball Championship) in 1960.
He made his national team debut as part of Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan’s roster to the 1959 FIBA World Cup in Chile.
The 6-foot-1 shooting guard later starred for the Ysmael team in the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) which he led to six championships.
When Ysmael disbanded, Marquez suited up for Mariwasa and served as team captain of the team that won the 1968 MICAA title.
He later transferred to Meralco and teamed up with fellow legends Robert Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz, Jimmy Mariano, Alberto ‘Big’ Boy Reynoso, Engracio ‘Boy’ Arasas, and Lawrence Mumar as the Reddy Kilowatts won the MICAA Open championship in 1971 by defeating archrival Crispa, 65-58.
The native of Zamboanga also played in the PBA at the advance age of 37 with Mariwasa, where he saw action for two seasons until retiring in 1977
Shortly upon retirement, Marquez, a product of University of Visayas, was employed at Meralco.
“He rose from the ranks until he retired as a branch/business center head in central area,” according to retired champion coach Ryan Gregorio, now an executive at Meralco.
In 2002, Marquez was inducted into the Philippine Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the batch that included Loreto Carbonell, Kurt Bachmann, Geronimo Cruz, Carlos Badion. Eduardo Lim, and Mariano Tolentino.