Former Olympian, Toyota player and UAAP coach Orly Bauzon dies at 75
Former national player and PBA pioneer Orlando "Orly" Bauzon passed away from cardiac arrest on Saturday.
He was 75.
Bauzon's former Toyota teammates, Gil Cortez and Ramon Fernandez, confirmed the development via text messages to ESPN5.com and in separate posts on their respective Facebook accounts.
"It is with deep sadness once more that I am sharing with you this news today. 2020 have been unrelenting. God help all of us endure whatever is happening. Another good and dear friend passing away so suddenly and unexpectedly. Orlando 'Orly' Bauzon. A Toyota teammate who have become a close friend throughout the years," Cortez wrote on his Facebook account on Saturday night.
"A quiet, gentle and unassuming man. Kind to everyone. We will miss you Repang Orly. You are now with Mareng Josie. May the Lord grant you peace. Sending my sincerest condolences to the family he left behind especially his dear children."
Fernandez posted a recollection of Bauzon's basketball exploits when they were playing for the Toyota Comets, who won the MICAA championship in the 1973 season.
"REST IN PEACE, ORLY! If not for his last second shot in our semifinal game in the very first MICAA tournament, we would not have made it to the championship series against the Concepcion Motorolas and we would not have won in Cinderella finish!" wrote Fernandez.
Bauzon was born in Calasiao, Pangasinan on November 17, 1944. He played for the national team that placed 13th in the 1968 Mexico Olympics. He was also a member of the Philippine men's squad that won a fourth straight basketball gold medal in the Jakarta Asian Games in 1962. He attended and played for the University of Santo Tomas in college.
His impressive basketball resume included stints with the multi-titled Ysmael Steel Admirals as well as the Meralco Reddy Kilowatts in the MICAA. He eventually became part of the Toyota Comets that served as one of several pioneering ball clubs in the PBA in 1975.
He played his last PBA season in 1978 with the Mariwasa Honda Wildcats.
Bauzon also had coaching stints with his alma mater University of Santo Tomas and later, with the Adamson Falcons, whom he guided to a runner-up finish in the UAAP in 1992, the UP Fighting Maroons for a brief time in 1995, and the Pangasinan Presidents in 1998 in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association. He also helped train young players as an instructor at the Milo BEST clinics.
His wife, Josie Bauzon, passed away in 2011 and was the first female commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission.