Ron Jacobs’ legacy to PH basketball | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Ron Jacobs’ legacy to PH basketball

/ 08:11 PM December 31, 2015

Something very strange happened the other night after we filed last Tuesday’s column at the Inquirer Sports desk.

We had written a piece on former national basketball coach Ron Jacobs, who died on Christmas Eve, 15 years after suffering a major stroke. Jacobs was doing his regular jogging in the heat of the

2 p.m. sun when it happened.


No one imagined that it could happen to such a huge fitness buff like the American coach who was young, seemingly in excellent physical condition, and had no vices.


Jacobs didn’t smoke, or drink anything stronger than Coca-Cola. His daily diet consisted of soda, salad and basketball, his life’s passion.

* * *

Many of Jacobs’ friends and associates believe that his love for the sport, his desire to win and excel in every game could have caused so much stress in his life.

Jacobs hardly slept well, I was told. He stayed awake for many nights devising plays, planning strategies.

After all, he had to live up to his reputation as a basketball genius.

* * *


Over time, Jacobs’ condition improved but he never fully recovered and was confined to a wheelchair until he died. He would have celebrated his 72nd birthday last Dec 27.

Jacobs’ legacy to Philippine basketball was the back-to-back titles he won in 1985—the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship (formerly the ABC tournament) and the Jones Cup in Taipei.

No other Philippine coach of fairly recent vintage has accomplished a feat of such magnitude.

Jacobs resided in the Philippines for more than two decades and worked with then-project director for basketball Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco for the same length of time.

* * *

Way after my deadline last Tuesday, we were surprised to get a call from our Sports desk. They were asking for my column. We said we had already sent it more than an hour ago. It never got there. We searched for the document everywhere practically all night. In the end, we had to write a new column.

* * *

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TAGS: PH, Philippine, Philippines, the Philippines

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