Sportscaster Butch Maniego dies
MANILA, Philippines - Sports industry stalwart Buenaventura "Butch" Maniego, Jr., known for his encyclopedic knowledge of Philippine basketball, passed away on Sunday, September 30, after a long battle with kidney ailment. He was 50.
He succumbed to cardiac arrest late afternoon, according to Tweets of his friend, Noel Zarate, who sharted the hashtag #RIPButchManiego on the microblogging site.
Zarate, who credits Maniego for giving him his first big break in sports TV, said the veteran sports broadcaster went through an emergency treatment at the Philippine Heart Center before 5 p.m., then later broke the news of his friend's death as well as wake at the Sanctuarium along Araneta cor. Quezon Avenues in Quezon City from October 1 to 5.
Maniego was a long-time sports commentator in various basketball games, including those under Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), which opened a new season also on September 30.
He started analyzing and reporting basketball in 1989, developing a smooth, even-tempered, statistics-laden and witty style that endeared him to fans. His love for sports and numbers came into play even before he ventured into broadcasting. He wrote about horseracing and other sports topics in a popular 3x-a-week column on People's Journal, and served as sports editor of various publications.
He joined Sev Sarmenta and Bill Velasco in 1998 as the main presenters for ABS-CBN Sports' the Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA), a short-lived professional basketball league that eventually folded in 2002. He then served as play-by-play anchor for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) games on ABS-CBN's Studio 23 until 2011.
Maniego was also tapped as executive director of Philippine Basketball League (PBL), which folded in 2010, resulting in the founding of the PBA Developmental League (D-League) where he was a tournament supervisor before he passed away.
He has been going through dialysis procedure 3x a week until his death. On his Facebook wall, he would post about his first surgery in 2010 and going back to work in the first week of September. On August 12, he tweeted the following:
it;s been three weeks since my last tweet. I have since had major sepsis attack and confined for two weeks with no cure in sight. Thanks all— Butch Maniego (@butchmaniego) August 11, 2012
i always had this fantasy thatbhead of st lukes and/or cardinal santos will send for me and treat me. not gonna happen obviously. so sad— Butch Maniego (@butchmaniego) August 11, 2012
So this how it ends. Me needing medical help and none forthcoming. Even as a charity case. My whole body hurts. May have to resign fm pba— Butch Maniego (@butchmaniego) August 11, 2012
Thanks for all your support. Getting better but still a long way to go.— Butch Maniego (@butchmaniego) August 25, 2012
His friends and supporters took to social media to express their sentiments:
Butch died of cardiac arrest after his long and brave fight against a kidney ailment. Our industry has lost a good man. #RIPButchManiego— Noel Zarate (@NoelZarate) September 30, 2012
Sad day for Philippines Sports World. We surely miss you Sir Butch Maniego. #RIPButchManiego— ralph bibera ♣ (@AgelessRock) September 30, 2012
#RIPButchManiego: It was a privilege working w u: covering games, working leagues, etc. Win SCRABBLE tournaments up there!— Chot Reyes (@coachot) September 30, 2012
It was an honor learning from and working with you @butchmaniego .... An even greater honor being called your friend. Rest in peace partner.— Gameday with Boom (@gamedaywithboom) September 30, 2012
RIP Butch Maniego. You have contributed so much to Philippine basketball. I learned a lot growing up listening to you.— TJ Manotoc (@tjmanotoc) September 30, 2012
Prayers to the family of Butch Maniego. RIP, BUTCH. You were appreciated, loved, respected and will be missed.— Patricia Hizon (@patriciahizon) September 30, 2012