Farewell, basketball godfather: Danding Cojuangco and his love for sports

Farewell, basketball godfather: Danding Cojuangco and his love for sports

MANILA, Philippines — The late Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr. was a man of many titles.

A businessman and politician, Cojuangco dabbled in many endeavors before his death.

But for the Filipino sports community, his title as the "Godfather of Philippine basketball" remains the most memorable.

Apart from being a basketball patron to his alma mater DLSU in the UAAP, and his three teams in the PBA — San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the Magnolia Hotshots — the late tycoon also paved the way for the national team near the end of the Marcos regime.

In the 1980s, Cojuangco helped form a Philippine team with top amateur players and naturalized players under the tutelage of the late great Ron Jacobs.

This Cojuangco-backed squad would win a number of titles in different tournaments across a few years.

The nationals would emerge champions in the Jones Cup in 1981 and 1985 under the banner of Cojuangco's Northern Cement and San Miguel Beer, respectively.

They also subsequently struck gold in the Southeast Asian Games in 1981 and 1985, as well as the 1982 Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) Juniors Championship and the 1985 ABC Championship.

Aside from his contributions in basketball, Cojuangco supported the country's equestrian program during the 2002 Busan Asian Games.

A true sports patron, the Philippine sports community lost a generous soul.

Cojuangco passed away Tuesday evening. he was 85.