04 July 2016

Rest in Peace: Gilbert Bulawan

Gilbert Bulawan
Reports were still a bit sketchy, but it was confirmed that Blackwater forward and former second-round pick of the Meralco Bolts Gilbert Bulawan passed away last Sunday (3 July) after collapsing during team practice. He was just 29.

Bulawan was pronounced dead on arrival at Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City. Blackwater governor Siliman Sy confirmed the bad news shortly after.

The former San Sebastian Stag center reportedly collapsed in the arms of teammate Reil Cervantes during practice. It was suspected that Bulawan suffered a massive cardiac arrest.

"We are saddened to hear of the passing of one of our beloved players and a member of our PBA family, Gilbert Bulawan," PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa said in a statement.

The death, believed to be the first by a player in a PBA team's active roster, came as a complete shock to people close to the young player and his family since he has no known ailment.

He was also the first known PBA player to die in practice or an actual game.

Bulawan was a member of the Stag team that won the NCAA men’s basketball championship in 2009 where he teamed up with Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang, Ronald Pascual, Pamboy Raymundo, among others.

After he was pick in 2011, Bulawan spent 2 years with the Bolts before was traded to Barako Bull Energy Cola from Meralco in a three-team trade that sent Jared Dillinger and Don Allado to Meralco. Later in the 2014 season, Bulawan was one of the players dropped by Barako, allowing him to join the 2014 PBA Expansion Draft, where he was picked 15th by Blackwater.

Bulawan spent his best productive years with Meralco where he averaged 4.2 points and 2.4 rebounds.

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