Nadurata, ex-Olympian, is goneBy Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
His wife Coring confirmed that long after the Rain or Shine championship last season, husband Roehl Nadurata, the Elasto Painters assistant coach, was up and about doing his normal routine.
There was absolutely no telltale symptoms, no indication, that there was a time bomb ticking inside Roehl’s shaven head, ready to explode anytime.
“He never complained of any major pain, any discomfort in his head, or any other part of his body except his knees which he attributed to rheumatism. We both thought this was normal for a man his age (74), because of the wear and tear,” Coring related.
Rain or Shine team manager Boy Lapid said the team absolutely had no inkling that there was anything wrong with Roehl, who had reported for duty during the Elasto Painters’ preseason tuneup game with Petron Blaze.
Because of the condition of his knees, Roehl was not too keen to join the trip of his team to Bangkok, one of the incentives given by ROS owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que to the champs.
“His knees were killing him. He had much difficulty walking. He wasn’t sure he could endure the trip, much less enjoy it. It was ROS head coach Yeng Guiao, his longtime buddy and workmate, who advised him to stay home and rest,” Coring related.
While the team was in Hong Kong, Roehl’s health deteriorated overnight. He suddenly felt extremely weak for no obvious reason, and he had to be rushed to the Chinese General Hospital.
While in the hospital, he suffered a stroke and after going through a battery of tests, the doctors found a Stage 4 cancer in his brain. The cancer had metastasized to his liver, his spine and down to his knees, which is why he was feeling so much pain in this area.
Roehl fell into a coma, and, while there would be moments when he would open his eyes, they were dazed. He was oblivious of his surroundings and he could not speak.
It was Roehl’s fellow University of the East Warrior Allan Caidic who informed me during a Ginebra press conference that Roehl was very ill. But Allan didn’t know the extent of his illness.
“The players visited him when they returned from Bangkok. Several of them wept after seeing him in his condition,” related Coring, mother of their seven children, ages ranging from 32 to 12.
I had also planned to visit Roehl, a longtime family friend from way back, and ninong (godfather) of my youngest daughter, today, but I guess he couldn’t wait. He expired last Tuesday night at the Martinez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan where he was transferred from the Chinese General Hospital.
Memories came rushing in. Not too long ago in 2009, Roehl was in the coaching staff of Yeng Guiao who was tasked to steer the Philippine team that campaigned in the Tianjin Fiba-Asia Championship.
Our performance then was forgettable, but not the endurance and strength displayed by Roehl as he negotiated the hilly and long terrain of the Great Wall from the Beijing area with the much younger players and scribes. He still had very sturdy legs at that time.
The side trip to the Great Wall was a treat from JB Baylon of Powerade which co-sponsored the national team with Smart Gilas in Tianjin.
Roehl had a glorious career as a player and a lengthy one as a coach. He had been a member of many national teams, including the PH squads to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, the 1966 Bangkok Asian Games and the l962 Asian Games in Jakarta where we won the title.
Basketball historians rate the 6-foot-2 Nadurata as a good coach, team builder and motivator. These traits are probably the basis of his close, decades-long working relationship with Guiao.
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