|Born||José J. Cantada
March 15, 1942
|Died||March 22, 1992 (aged 50)
Cause of death
José María Cantada, better known as "Smokin'" Joe Cantada, (March 15, 1942 - March 22, 1992) was a Filipino TV host, anchor & commentator. He died of lung cancer in March 1992. He distinguished himself with his smooth baritone voice and his flawless use of figures of speech and idioms in calling sports events.
Cantada started his career as a staff announcer doing an early morning program for a radio station in 1962. He then transferred to DZHP where he spent many years honing his talents with the likes of Harry Gasser, Ronnie Nathanielsz, Larry Cruz and others. He did the coverage of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics where he did the blow-by-blow account of the final round loss by Anthony Villanueva to Soviet boxer Stanislav Stepashkin.
One of Cantada's greatest moments were being the ring announcer at the Thrilla in Manila fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier and doing the commentary of the first Sugar Ray Leonard - Thomas Hearns bout in Las Vegas.
From there, he moved on to far greater heights by anchoring the PBA games for its television production franchise holder, Vintage Enterprises in 1982. For the first eight years of Vintage's coverage, the program had Cantada as its main broadcaster with Pinggoy Pengson, Sev Sarmenta and Ed Picson as three of its play-by-play commentators. The last coverage of Cantada was the replay of Shell vs. Purefoods game held last April 9, 1991.
In a replay of the controversial Shell-Purefoods game last April 9, 1991 Shell won convincingly, 114-102. This was Joe Cantada's farewell performance. After a decade of covering the PBA games, Smokin' Joe bade goodbye unexpectedly because of health problems. This resulted in a bum stomach that rushed him in Makati Medical Center later that day ; Cantada then went to the US to check the throat infection but discovered that he had lung cancer, which was incurable that time. The commentator died on March 22, 1992 in San Francisco, California.
A tribute was held in his honor by the PBA a day after he died. Sev Sarmenta hosted the special program at the NASA (now PhilSports Arena).
"Ramon Fernandez comes up with the winning basket! And look at this, the two rivals (referring to Fernandez and Robert Jaworski) of the league, the two most dominant figures of Philippine basketball finally come together, pulled their resources together to come up with the winning basket."—at the inaugural All-Star Game between the Veterans and Rookies-Sophomores in 1989.
"And with no time left, Mamaril.. Mamaril.. who is playing listless all night, suddenly came through with a winning basket for the 65ers."—at the 1988 PBA All-Filipino KO game between San Miguel & Añejo 65.
"The situation doesn't seem to get rosier here for Alaska.. And there's the flying tackle... The Hotdogs win their first ever crown.."—at the 1990 PBA 3rd Conference game 5 between Purefoods & Alaska
- Smokin' Joe throws in towel vs Big C, Manila Standard, March 24, 1992
- "Bert Lozada's legions". PhilStar. May 16, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "ONE GAME AT A TIME- Smokin’ Joe Cantada". Inquirer Sports. October 3, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Swift forces playoff, but tribute to Joe steals show, Rocky Nazareno, Manila Standard, March 24, 1992.