MANILA, Philippines—Eliezer “Ely” Capacio, a gentle giant who had an incomparable career in the PBA because of successes in three important capacities, passed away early Sunday morning after suffering a massive stroke Saturday afternoon. He was 58.
Capacio, also a member of several Philippine teams, entered the league first as a player with defunct Tanduay, playing a total of 324 games for the Rhum Masters and finishing with averages of 5.5 points and 5.4 rebounds.
The 6-foot-4 center then entered the corporate world with Purefoods and coached the Tender Juicy Hotdogs to the 1991 All-Filipino championship opposite Sarsi before eventually serving as league chair last decade.
The alternate board member of Purefoods/San Mig Coffee, Capacio, who was the vice president for human resources of Purefoods at the time of his death, would have served a second term as chair of the PBA board next season.
“He was a genuine people person,” Purefoods president Francisco “Butch” Alejo III told the Inquirer. “He was great at everything he did—a great player, a great coach, and a great executive.”
Alejo was with Capacio that fateful afternoon at Manila Southwoods in Cavite, where they regularly play on weekends. Capacio complained of back pains just after the fourth hole. He finished the round but begged off from joining the gang for lunch. He collapsed while driving.
Capacio was pronounced dead at Asian Hospital at 12:33 a.m. Musong R. Castillo