Philippine hoops ‘greatly benefited’ from Cojuangco’s role

MANILA – Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco may have passed away already but for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), what he did for basketball will never be denied.

“Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco Jr. left an indelible mark in the country not just as a brilliant businessman but also as a passionate sportsman,” the SBP said in a statement on Wednesday.

Cojuangco died of lung illness Tuesday night. He was 85.

Cojuangco’s biggest contribution to local hoops is the NCC-backed national team program, the last team to win the FIBA Asia championship in 1986.

The main players of the NCC squad, which also won the 1981 and 1985 Jones Cup titles, went on to carve successful playing and coaching careers in the pros.

The likes of Allan Caidic and Jong Uichico eventually became among the standards of how to be great as a player or a coach

“Because of his investment with the NCC, Philippine basketball greatly benefited as it jump-started the careers of legendary PBA players and coaches as well,” the SBP said.

The SBP also commended Cojuangco for turning his three teams in the PBA, San Miguel, Ginebra, and Magnolia, “a dominant force in Philippine basketball.”

“Beyond this, his love for basketball led to the enrichment of the lives of so many players, coaches, and staff who have nothing but great words to say about ‘ECJ’,” it added.

The SBP summarized the death of Cojuangco with one simple sentence: “Philippine basketball lost a titan.” (PNA)