Philippine basketball

Former PBA star Boybits Victoria dies

Delfin Dioquino
Former PBA star Boybits Victoria dies

STELLAR RUN. Boybits Victoria enjoyed a successful PBA career.

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Boybits Victoria, a seven-time PBA champion with Sunkist and San Miguel, dies at the age of 50

MANILA, Philippines – Former PBA star Emmanuel “Boybits” Victoria died at the age of 50 on Wednesday, March 1.

His son, Nathan, confirmed the death of the seven-time PBA champion.

“Rest well up there dad, you have nothing else to do except watch me grow into who I’m supposed to be,” Nathan, also a basketball player who recently joined the St. Benilde Blazers in the NCAA, wrote on Facebook.

“Will always dedicate everything to you.”

Victoria enjoyed a successful PBA career after a stellar collegiate stint with the San Beda Red Lions.

Selected third overall by Swift during the 1994 PBA Draft, Victoria captured the Rookie of the Year award and bested top two picks Noli Locsin and Rey Evangelista.

The following year, Victoria helped the RFM Corporation franchise – then renamed Sunkist – win two of the three championships during the 1995 season as the Orange Juicers fell short of a rare Grand Slam.

Victoria went on to bag five more PBA titles with San Miguel, serving as backup to Olsen Racela, before hanging up his spurs in 2003.

His other PBA accolades included a pair of Mythical Second Team selections in 1994 and 1995.

Already away from the limelight, Victoria made headlines again in 2018 when he got hospitalized after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease that affects the nerves.

Victoria recovered and said in a 2020 interview that he was happy living a “simple life” with his family. –

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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.