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PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez, Ginebra coach Tim Cone mourn tragic death of friend – pilot of Lionair plane

PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez, Ginebra coach Tim Cone mourn tragic death of friend – pilot of Lionair plane

By Jan Carlo Anolin

Ramon Fernandez and Tim Cone mourned the loss of Captain Mario Medina Jr., one of eight fatalities of the Lionair plane that caught fire prior to take off at the runaway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Sunday night.

Firefighters extinguish the fire that caught the 10-seater aircraft of Lion Air Westwind 24 Sunday night. All eight crew members and passengers perished. (Photo courtesy of PAL)

Firefighters extinguish the fire that caught the 10-seater aircraft of Lion Air Westwind 24 Sunday night. All eight crew members and passengers perished. (Photo courtesy of PAL)

Fernandez and Cone revealed being close friends with Medina, a former Philippine Airlines pilot who was supposed to take 10-seater aircraft of Lionair Westwind 24 with registry number RPC 5880 to Haneda, Japan to deliver a patient.

Spin.ph reported that Fernandez and Medina were “kumpares” since 1973, back when the latter was still in Ateneo.

Their group also involved Gil Cortez and Ompong Segura, Fernandez’s former teammates with the Toyota Comets in the early years of the PBA, Premier Volleyball League chief Ricky Palou and sportscaster and columnist Quinito Henson.

Turns out, Medina was a sportsman himself who loves to play basketball and golf. He was a fan of no less than boxing legend and Senator Manny Pacquiao, the report added.

Cone, likewise, revealed on social media that Medina was one of his golf buddies and a “frequenter” at Ginebra games.

“Great guy, great humanitarian. Another friend gone. Tragic,” Cone tweeted, who is still grieving the passing of legendary coach Aric Del Rosario, Cone’s longtime assistant, due to cardiac arrest.

Aside from Medina, those who died on the spot were identified as Captain Ren Edward Nevada, Captain Melvin Bruel de Castro, Jael Edmark Agravante (flight crew), Dr. Cenover Nicanoro Bautista, Tomelda Conrado (registered nurse), John Richard Hurst (Canadian national) and Marilyn Vergara de Jesus (American citizen).

READ MORE: Lionair plane bursts into flames at NAIA runway, 8 deadPassengers, crew of ill-fated Lionair explosion identified

Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, Gil Cortez, Mario Medina Jr., nCov, novel coronavirus, Ompong Segura, Philippine Sports Commission, PSC, Quinito Henson, Ramon Fernandez, Ricky Palou, Tim Cone, Toyota Comets