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Fans admired Robert Jaworski's "never say die" attitude.
9. ROBERT JAWORSKI (Basketball)
He was University of the East Red Warriors player. Then, in 1966, he was part of the national team that represented the country in the Asian Games held in Bangkok, Thailand. The following year, he was part of the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) team that played in Seoul, South Korea, where they beat the host country. He was also part of the national team that won the 1973 staging of the ABC Games at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila. He played professional basketball for 23 years (from 1975 to 1998), playing for Toyota and, of course, Ginebra. Though Jaworski, who was nicknamed "The Big J," was criticized for being too intense on the hardcourt, he won many fans. He was 52 when he finally hung up his jersey. He ran for senator the year he retired from playing and won.
Eric Buhain inspires young swimmers to go for gold.
10. ERIC BUHAIN (Swimming)
When he was seven, Buhain suffered from primary lung complex. Luckily, he overcame it--though nobody ever thought he'd be a swimming champ one day. He became a member of the Philippine swimming team at age 11. At 15, he won his first cache of Southeast Asian (SEA) Games medals when Thailand hosted the event in 1985. He contributed to RP's 90-gold haul when the event was held in Manila in 1991. He retired from swimming after the 1993 SEA Games and was appointed by former President Gloria Arroyo as Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman in 2001. He was later named as Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman in 2005.
Art by Warren Espejo.
Image credits: Athlete.com (Lydia de Vega), PopularWallpapers.com (Manny Pacquiao), Cyberboxingzone.com (Pancho Villa), and Philboxing.com (Gabriel Elorde).