Ambrosio Padilla

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Ambrosio B. Padilla
Vice-Chairman of the 1986 Constitutional Commission
In office
June 2, 1986 – October 15, 1986
Appointed by Corazon Aquino
Senator of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1957 – September 23, 1972[1]
Minority leader of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
January 17, 1966 – December 30, 1969
Preceded by Estanislao Fernandez
Succeeded by Gerardo Roxas
Solicitor General of the Philippines
In office
1954–1957
President Ramon Magsaysay
Preceded by Querube Makalintal
Succeeded by Guillermo Torres
Personal details
Born Ambrosio Bibby Padilla
(1910-12-07)December 7, 1910
Manila, Philippines
Died August 11, 1996(1996-08-11) (aged 85)
Quezon City
Nationality Filipino
Spouse(s) Lourdes de las Alas
Alma mater Ateneo de Manila University
University of the Philippines
University of Santo Tomas
Occupation Basketball player, Politician
Profession Basketball player, Civil Servant

Ambrosio Bibby Padilla (December 7, 1910 — August 11, 1996 [2][3]) was a former Filipino basketball player and former elected member of the Senate of the Philippines. He was one of the most important figures in Asian basketball development.

Early life[edit]

Padilla was born as the eighth of eleven children of Dr. Nicanor Padilla and Ysabel Bibby. He married Lourdes de las Alas on May 4, 1941. Padilla fathered 10 children: 6 boys and 4 girls.

Athletic career[edit]

Padilla was born in San Miguel district in Manila. He studied at the Ateneo de Manila for his high school and college education. In college, he was the team captain of the 1928 Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles varsity basketball squad that won the 1928 NCAA (Philippines) basketball championship under coach James A. Martin, S.J.. Later, he studied law at the University of the Philippines and became a varsity player of the university's baseball team in the early 1930s.

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 was then, became the seventh President of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation, the forerunner of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), in 1972.

Political career[edit]

President Ramon Magsaysay appointed Padilla as Solicitor General in 1954. He later resigned in 1957 to run for the Senate and won. He served in the Senate until 1972 when President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. Notwithstanding his stature and brushing aside the dangers arising from his opposition to the martial law regime, he actively fought the Marcos regime with his legal skills and belief in freedom.

After Marcos was overthrown in the 1986 People Power Revolution, President Corazon Aquino appointed Padilla to the 1986 Constitutional Commission which was tasked to draft a new constitution for the country. Padilla was elected vice-chairman of the commission with former Supreme Court Associate Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma as its chairwoman. The new Constitution was officially ratified by the Filipino people in a plebiscite held in February 2, 1987.

Legacy[edit]

Padilla, who died on August 11, 1996, was inducted into the Philippine National Basketball Hall of Fame in January 1999 along with other Filipino basketball greats like Carlos Loyzaga, Lauro Mumar, Jacinto Ciria Cruz, Charles Borck, Edgardo Ocampo, Mariano Tolentino, and his own Olympic coach Chito Calvo. The Ateneo de Manila University's Ambrosio Padilla Award, which is given out annually to the university's best academically performing college varsity player from any sport, is named in his honor.

A classroom at Malcolm Hall of the University of the Philippines College of Law is also named in his honor.

Padilla is the father of Francisco "Frank" Padilla, Founder and Servant General of the Catholic renewal group Couples for Christ Foundation Inc.

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • 1928 NCAA Philippines champions
  • 1930 Far Eastern Games champion
  • 1934 Far Eastern Games champions
  • 1936 Summer Olympics, fifth place
  • Philippine National Hall of Fame (1999)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Congress was dissolved when President Ferdinand Marcos imposed Martial Law in September 21, 1972.
  2. ^ The Manila Standard, Basketball Olympian, Senator Dead At 85, The Manila Standard, p.4 (12 augustus 1996)
  3. ^ The Philippine Daily Inquirer, In Loving Memory on the 7th Death Anniversary of Ambrosio Padilla, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, B.14 (11 augustus 2003)