Philippine basketball

PBA legend and Olympian Yoyong Martires dies

Delfin Dioquino

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PBA legend and Olympian Yoyong Martires dies

LEGEND. PBA great Yoyong Martires.

Moby Leah Martires Facebook page

Yoyong Martires dies at the age of 77 after living a 'very adventurous and colorful life' that saw him play in the PBA and Olympics, and enjoy a decades-long career in showbiz and politics

MANILA, Philippines – Basketball legend Rosalio “Yoyong” Martires, a member of the last Philippine team that played in the Olympics, died on Tuesday, June 18.

He was 77.

Martires’ daughter Moby Leah on Wednesday, June 19, announced the death of the PBA great who also enjoyed a decades-long career in show business and politics.

“He was surrounded by his family and loved ones during this difficult time. He lived a very adventurous and colorful life,” Martires’ daughter wrote on Facebook.

“A loving husband, a doting father, a caring grandpa, a self-made man, an Olympian, a prolific basketball player, a comedian, a devoted public servant, and a child of Christ. Difficult steps to follow, indeed.”

Coming out of Southwestern University in Cebu, Martires played for San Miguel in the now-defunct Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) from 1972 to 1982.

The 5-foot-8 guard helped the storied franchise win its first two PBA titles in the 1979 Open Conference and 1982 Invitational Championship.

With the national team, Martires represented the country in the 1972 Munich Olympics in Germany, teaming up with the likes of fellow legends Bogs Adornado, Manny Paner, and Freddie Webb.

The following year, Martires and the Philippine team ruled the 1973 ABC Championship (now called the FIBA Asia Cup) hosted in the country.

After his basketball career, Martires tried his hand at acting and appeared in multiple movies and television shows that featured comedians Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon.

He later on became a politician and served as councilor and vice mayor in Pasig City.

PBA icon Ramon Fernandez paid tribute to his late teammate.

“You have served your constituents well. I will forever be proud of your accomplishments. Your legacy as a sportsman and as a public servant will remain an inspiration to many,” Fernandez wrote on Facebook. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.