Former Philippine national basketball team coach Ron Jacobs passed away at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Christmas Eve. He was 72.
Quinito Henson, a close friend of Jacobs, broke the sad news online on Thursday night.
“Sad to report Ron Jacobs passed away tonite at 830 in Makati, he would’ve turned 73 on Dec 27- he was a great basketball coach and dear friend” Henson said via Twitter.
Jacobs was once a coach of the basketball team of the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California before being known in Philippine basketball starting the 1980s.
He was the national team coach when the Philippines won the 1982 Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) Youth title, the 1985 William Jones Cup and 1985 ABC title.
Jacobs was also the head coach of San Miguel Beer from 1997 to 1998. He again coached the Philippine team when it ruled the 2002 Busan Asian Games.
In 1997, he was named the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Coach of the Year and 10 years later was included into the PBA Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Among Jacobs’ protégés that have become star players are Samboy Lim, Pido Jarencio, Eric Altamirano, Franz Pumaren, Jong Uichico and Hector Calma.
His wake at the Sanctuario de San Antonio Forbes Chapel de San Francisco will be opened to the public from December 27 to 28 from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID