MANILA, Philippines - Jose Rizal University Light Bombers player CJ Servillon did not receive quick medical aid after collapsing during his team’s FilOil game against De La Salle Zobel on Friday, May 24, according to his teammate.
Servillon, 17, collapsed during a time-out in the second quarter of the game and was brought to Cardinal Santos Medical Center where he fell into a comatose state. After spending two days in the Intensive Care Unit, the JRU high school basketball player passed away late Sunday evening.
The 6-foot-1 athlete was given mouth-to-mouth after falling by the bench of his team.
While talking to GMA news show Balitanghali on Tuesday, May 26, Servillon’s teammate, JL Sta. Maria, talked about the incident and added that Servillon was feeling dizzy during the pre-game warmup session.
“Our player had no more heartbeat. There was no medic, he was taking so long. That was why our coach was really mad,” Sta Maria said in Tagalog while being interviewed by GMA’s Mav Gonzales.
Servillon’s father, Jun, was also interviewed and said that their family was surprised by CJ’s collapse.
“He doesn’t get sick,” Jun said. “We were surprised during that day that he collapsed.”
CJ’s grandfather, Severio, meanwhile, says that their family is thinking whether or not to file a complaint to the organizers of the FilOil tournament.
“I hope this is a lesson to whoever is organizing the games. We are not after the money. I just want other players to receive protection.”
According to a report by Spin.ph, one of the issues that have raised red flags was the lack of medical services at the San Juan Arena, where the FilOil games are being played. The report also says that the air conditioning of the arena is off during the junior’s games of the tourney.
A request for comment to the tournament organizers from Rappler has not been answered.
In a report by Rappler on Monday, Servillon’s cousin, Sheila Afable, said that the FilOil organizers have expressed their intent to help the family in any way they can.
Servillon’s head coach Nat Gregorio told Balitanghali that he will keep the 17-year-old’s name in the lineup.
“If you ask me, I don’t want to replace him even though he’s already gone,” he said.
Sta. Maria, meanwhile, said the team plans to dedicate their games for their teammate.
“Even if he can't continue his NCAA career, we’re going to continue it for him. We’re going to give our all for him,” Sta. Maria said.