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Monday, July 15, 2024

Filipino basketball legend Yoyong Martires dies at 77

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Basketball player, comedian, and politician Rosalio “Yoyong” Martires passed on yesterday, June 18. He was 77.

His daughter, Moby Leah, announced the news on Facebook, highlighting his rich and fulfilling life.

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

“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,” she added.

During his prime, Martires had a long and impressive career. He was a member of the last Philippine basketball team to compete in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, alongside legends like Bogs Adornado, Manny Paner, and Freddie Webb. The following year, he helped the Philippines win the 1973 ABC Championship (now the FIBA Asia Cup).

He also played for the San Miguel franchise in both the MICAA and PBA, contributing to their first two PBA championship wins.

Beyond basketball, Martires also had a successful acting career, collaborating with comedy stars like Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon. Later, he transitioned into politics, serving as councilor and vice mayor of Pasig City.

Tributes poured in following his passing. Former teammate Ramon Fernandez lauded Martires’ service to his community and achievements in sports and public service, calling him an inspiration.

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