Remembering today, the late-Senator & Ambassador Ambrosio B. Padilla, the first President of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP)
Ambrosio Bibby Padilla
Born on December 7, 1910 in Lingayen, Pangasinan Province.
Died on August 11, 1996 (aged 85) in Quezon City, Philippines.
In 1930, Padilla played for the Philippines which won the gold medal of the 9th Far Eastern Games basketball tournament in Tokyo, Japan. He played alongside Jacinto Ciria Cruz and Mariano Filomeno. In 1934, he captained the national team that retained the basketball championship in the 10th Far Eastern Games held at home for the final time.
In 1936, Padilla as team captain of the national basketball team led the Philippines to a fifth-place finished in the 11th (1936) Summer Olympics held at Berlin, Germany. It remains the best finish by an Asian country in men's Olympic basketball history. The team was coached by Dionisio Calvo and, aside from Padilla, boasted of great players like Ciria Cruz and Charles Borck.
Padilla retired from basketball and became the chairman of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF) Basketball Committee from 1938 to 1954.
The international governing body, FIBA, appointed Padilla as its Vice President for Asia from 1956 to 1964. He was one of the forefathers and later elected President of the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC), now known as FIBA Asia, from 1960 to 1966 with his former coach Dionisio Calvo as the Secretary-General. When he finished his term, he served as the ABC president emeritus from 1967.
He became the sixth President of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF), the forerunner of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), in 1970 and became the first president of the POC when PAAF was renamed POC in 1975.