|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2010)|
|Vegildo "Gido" Babilonia|
|Born||Vegildo Quezon T. Babilonia
August 19, 1966
|Died||July 14, 2007
Vegildo "Gido" Babilonia was a Filipino basketball player.
Early life and career
Born Vegildo Quezon T. Babilonia on August 19, 1966. He was a native of Quezon.
The 6’6 slotman played for the Letran Squires under Coach Fred Reyes from 1981 to 1984. Despite the team's height advantage—four players standing above six feet—and a talented back court (Alfrancis Chua, Eric Enad, Elmer Bolabola, Raymond Reyes), the Squires lost to the Trinity College Baby Stallions in the 1984 NCAA junior division finals. Babilonia was named MVP of the NCAA junior division in 1984.
Together with Alfrancis Chua (who later became Tanduay's coach in the PBA), Babilonia moved to the University of Santo Tomas and played with the Golden Goldies where alongside Rabbi Tomacruz and Bobby Jose dominated the UAAP.
He started his PBA career as the backup of Jerry Codinera in the Purefoods’ lineup. He was then shipped to Shell where he briefly played as Benjie Paras’ sub. When he played for the Pepsi Cola Hotshots, he blossomed as a very effective trooper for Coach Derrick Pumaren. He then was traded to San Miguel where he became a fixture of the injury-prone, post-grand slam era of the Beermen.
Throughout his PBA career many found Babilonia as a mere backup, losing all his offensive capabilities and forever resorting to his defensive prowess to create an identity.
When the MBA entered, he traded his Beermen jersey to join former PBA subs like Mike Otto, Gilbert Castillo, and Bong Ravena as a Pasig Blue Pirate. This was where Babilonia displayed his skill. He was averaging in double figures for the first time in his pro career. Sure, dealing with less prominent stars could be the downside of his success, but he was making it big. Past his prime, MBA was his refuge.
But let’s face it, MBA was an experiment waiting to bust. Sensing the downfall he “traveled” back to the PBA where he got a seat as a TNT Phone Pal. This would be his last team before retiring. Gido Babilonia was calling the shots on the UE Warrior bench as Dindo Pumaren’s deputy until a losing effort against pneumonia ended his brief coaching career. who saw action for PBA teams Shell, Pepsi, San Miguel, Talk ‘N Text and FedEx after a one-year stint with Purefoods. Babilonia’s career flourished in Letran and he became a hot collegiate recruit for UST. Though he never won a title in college, Babilonia was able to play in several national teams.
Babilonia, dubbed as Prinsipe K by broadcasters because of his big ears knew early on that he can never become a superstar in the league. But he knew he had the skills to become a fixture, and by that trait he impressed a lot.
He had PBA career averages of 21.3 minutes, 4.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in a 10-year career that was put on hold in 1996 because of heart problems. He returned to the PBA in 1999 through the FedEx Express.
- Shell (1991)
- 7-Up/Pepsi (1992–1994)
- San Miguel (1995–1996)
- Pasig Blue Pirates (1998)
- FedEx (2002)
- NCAA Junior Division MVP (1984)
His parents are Mr. & Mrs. Pablito Babilonia. He was married to Narissa Cheryl and they have 3 children, namely, Thomas Isiah, Gideon Ira and Seth Isaac.
Babilonia, who served as an assistant coach at University of the East, died at 3 a.m. at Medical City hospital in Pasig City due to pneumonia on January 14, 2007. He was 40. “He’s very close to our players, he’s the motivator in our team,” said UE coach Dindo Pumaren. “He still practiced with us last Wednesday, he was healthy.” Babilonia’s remains are at the Marian Memorial Chapel along Marcos Highway in Antipolo City.