THE Philippine coaching community is in mourning following the sudden death of former University of the East mentor Lawrence Chongson.
The outspoken coach known for his colorful language and off-shoulder hair suffered a heart attack the day after Christmas.
He was 57.
Stevenson Tiu, a friend and contemporary of Chongson, said the veteran coach was still able to drive himself to the Cardinal Santos hospital, where he later died.
Friends of Chongson said he underwant a checkup in a hospital a few days ago and was in high spirit during the holiday season, according to Tiu, who steered the BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare to the 2019 D-League Foundation Cup title.
"Kaya lahat kami nagulat, e," he said a few hours upon learning about the death of his friend.
Bong Tan's pal
Chongson last served as active consultant of the UE Red Warriors in UAAP Season 82 where he worked with late school owner and close friend Lucio 'Bong' Tan, Jr.
His death came a week following the loss of legendary high school coach Ato Badolato and two years after the death of his pal and boss Bong Tan at age 53.
Chongson was also a longtime coach of Boracay Rum Waves, who later became the Tanduay Light Rhum Masters in the PBA D-League.
The controversial coach also served as adviser and manager of two of his former stars at UE, namely Paul Lee of Magnolia and MPBL standout Roi Sumang.
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