Sports broadcaster Ronnie Nathanielsz passes away
Veteran sports journalist Ronnie Nathanielsz has passed away. He was 81.
According to a report on the ABS-CBN News website, Nathanielsz died in San Francisco, California Saturday morning, a week after suffering a heart attack.
He was in the US to supposedly cover the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas last Sunday at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Nathanielsz was a longtime sports broadcast journalist who had extensively covered local and international boxing, including Pacquiao’s illustrious career. He also spent time covering the PBA.
He used to write a column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer sports section named “Inside Sports” back in 2011.
He became prominent during the martial law years as a broadcast personality. His reputation was so associated with that of the Marcos regime that he faced public anger after the Marcoses fled. He was able to rehabilitate his name in part by focusing on sports reporting.
Fellow members of the media, boxers and followers took to social media to express their condolences to the family of Nathanielsz.
“Rest in Paradise Ronnie Nathanielz. You were always a big supporter of mine and will miss the days we would just sit and talk boxing,” Brian Viloria said in a tweet.
“What a sad day. My dear friend Ronnie Nathanielsz just passed #RIPRonnie,” said national team coach Chot Reyes.
“Woke up to sad news of Ronnie Nathanielsz’s passing. Ran into him a few times last month while covering Pacquiao’s training camp at Elorde (Mall of Asia) and was on board last September for an interview when I dropped by the training of another fighter in Caloocan. Enjoyed his narratives about the old, old days of boxing. Sad to hear…” said another veteran boxing scribe Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin in a Facebook post.
“I will miss you so much Ronnie. Thank you so much for everything you taught me and most of all for being a friend of the family since I was 12 yrs old. The family will have a funeral in SFO and later his remains will be flown to Manila,” posted sports broadcaster Dyan Castillejo on Instagram.
“RIP Mr. Ronnie Nathanielsz . you were one of my favorites growing up in the PBA. Condolences to the family,” said former PBA player and now commentator Ali Peek.
ABAP executive and fellow sports broadcaster Ed Picson also paid tribute to Nathanielsz in an Instagram post: “I had my differences with Ronnie-some of them major ones-but he never took them personally. He would still call me his “good friend” and would manage a convivial conversation even when at odds about an issue. Gone at a ripe age of 81, but still too soon. One thing many didn’t know about him-he was a darn good singer! And when asked to belt one out, invariably he would croon- “It’s a Sin To Tell a Lie”. Rest well, my friend.” Celest Flores-Colina
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