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Basketball legend Tony Genato passes away

Tony Genato was the last living memory of the 1954 bronze medal-winning Philippine team to the FIBA World Cup prior to his passing. Peter Baltazar/Tiebreaker Times (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—The Philippine basketball community was in sadness on Wednesday following the passing of Tony Genato.

Genato, aged 94, was the last remaining member of the 1954 Philippine team that won the bronze in the FIBA World Cup still alive prior to his passing.

In the same year, he also won the gold medal in the Asian Games.

Genato also participated in two Olympics in 1952 and 1956.

The former San Beda standout turned pro when he joined YCO in the defunct MICAA in 1952, but seven years later, he called it a career.

Genato tried his luck in coaching after the Great Taste franchise, then known as Presto, recruited him as head coach in the 1977 PBA Philippine Cup, then the All-Filipino Cup, but after a 3-4 start, he was relieved of his position.

The 1954 Philippine FIBA World Cup team was among the first members of the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame in 1990, and earlier this year, its main man, Caloy Loyzaga, was enshrined to the FIBA Hall of Fame during the FIBA Congress in Sofitel in Pasay.

Loyzaga's family confirmed the sad news of Genato's passing.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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