Former national football coach Florentino Broce dies at age 72
MANILA, Philippines - Florentino Broce, a skillful La Salle winger who later trained the country’s best young players under the famous Kasibulan program, died last Friday, December 18 at the Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Bacolod City, his widow Matet said.
Matet Broce told Rappler.com her 72-year-old husband was in cardiac arrest on December 12 at the hospital where he had been confined for the last two months due to various ailments.
"He was semi-comatose," she said.
“It was a cycle. First he would have pneumonia, then he would be OK and transfer out of cardiac care unit. Then he would return,“ she said. Two days before Broce died, his 95-year-old mother passed away, she added.
Broce and his mother will be buried on December 24 in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
Broce, who along with the late Orlando Plagata were graduates of the FIFA coaching course under famous mentor Dettmar Cramer, was tapped by Johnny Romualdez, then in charge of national teams, in 1972 to coach the Kasibulan team, which was composed of the best under 20-year-old players.
The program, which developed future stars like Alberto Honasan, Pepito Genato, Vic Delfino and Polly Arenal, virtually ended in 1974 after the national squad was routed in the Asian Games.
“He was offensive minded. His way of conditioning players was to make them play on the field,” said Mariano Araneta Jr., president of the Philippine Football Federation, of his former coach at Construction Development Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP), the 1980 National League champion.
Elmer Bedia, the many-time Mr. Football winner, described Broce as a “father figure to everyone and very easy get along with” during the 1981 Southeast Asian Games in Manila.
Nicknamed Ponti, Broce used a bullhorn to give instructions to his players on the pitch. His voice was subdued but there was no masking his love for the game, especially when he described his midfield idols.
“Julio Umadhay, wow that guy can control the midfield. Lando Plagata, I liked the way he played: fast and good passer,” he said in a phone interview last April for a football book to be published next year.
As a player, former La Salle teammate Albert Garcia described Broce in a private message on Facebook as a “thinking player and a workhorse.” Garcia said Broce “was ahead in technical skills” of the others playing the wings. – Rappler.com