PBA, NCAA mourn death of 'true basketball legend' Samboy Lim | Inquirer Sports

PBA, NCAA mourn death of ‘true basketball legend’ Samboy Lim

/ 03:08 PM December 24, 2023

Samboy Lim

Photo from Samboy Lim’s Facebook

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Basketball Association mourned the passing of one of its legends in Avelino “Samboy” Lim, who passed away at the age of 61 on Friday night.

“It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, loved ones, and friends of the legendary Avelino ‘Samboy’ Lim. The PBA mourns the loss of a true icon, a player whose contributions to the league have left an indelible mark on the hearts of basketball enthusiasts across the nation,” the post read.


“His all-out play and boundless heart were not just attributes on the basketball court; they were a testament to the passion and dedication he brought to the sport. Samboy’s legacy spans generations while contributing significantly to the popularity and growth of the PBA.”


Lim, a member of the PBA’s 40 Greatest Players, left an indelible mark in the league. He won nine PBA championships including a Grand Slam in 1989 with the San Miguel Beermen.

“As we bid farewell to a true basketball legend, we remember the joy he brought to countless fans and the pride he instilled in the hearts of Filipinos. Samboy, may you fly high and free like the Skywalker you were known to be. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lim family during this difficult time.”

The NCAA also honored Lim, a former Letran Knights star.

“The NCAA joins the basketball community in remembering the life of Samboy Lim, one of the greatest Filipino basketball players of our time,” said NCAA Season 99 Management Committee chair Paul Supan.

“He was an exemplary athlete from the time he played in the NCAA up to his stint in the national team and in the pros… He was an inspiration and a model for most, if not all, who have seen him play.”


The “Skywalker” helped Letran complete an NCAA “three-peat” from 1982 to 1984. He was also hailed as the NCAA MVP in 1984.

In 2014, Lim fell into a coma after suffering a cardiac arrest during an exhibition game while on the bench.

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