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University of Baguio lost the heart and soul of its sports program when its sports director Alan Elegado died due to cancer Monday, the All Soul’s Day

LAST TANGO. University of Baguio athletics director Alan Elegado died on November 1 after a brief battle with liver cancer. He is seen here with student and Philippine boxing team member Aira Villegas, who won a bronze medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and one of the four Philippine team member enrolled at the institution along with Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno and Josie Gabuco. Pigeon Lobien

Elegado, formerly the table tennis coach and was a member of the Philippine table tennis officiating team during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games succumbed to liver cancer. He is 52.

Elegado was diagnosed of liver cancer only last Septembee and his “death came so fast,” said former UB boxing coach Glicero Catolico, Jr., who informed this writer of the UB sports czar’s demise early Monday morning after a short battle with the Big C.

Last month, news of Elegado having cancer was broken by Catolico as he said that the whole Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League community is behind the embattled athletic director and sending their support for his fast recovery.

“Even our national boxers are praying for his recovery. Nesthy (Petecio) even sent some money to help shoulder medical expenses,” Catolico earlier said.

In August, Elegado watched with UB professors and coaches as well as former mayor Reinaldo Bautista, Jr. the success of some UB athletes seeing action in the Tokyo Olympics specifically boxers Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial and how they all figured in the final four.

The UB audio-visual room was a site of celebration when Petecio made it to the finals and later followed by a Paalam victory.

The giant screens at the UB Cardinals gym were tuned in to the Petecio and Paalam finals where, however, they fell short. Marcial also bid goodbye to his gold medal quest with a semifinals loss.

Elegado had been pushing for the school to provide assistance to its athletes and was rewarded with the two silver, one bronze showing of the four Philippine boxing team members, all of whom are currently enrolled or have moved on from UB.

Eleazer Dumseng in a post expressed surprise of Elegado’s demise and thanked the latter’s support to all athletes including the former’s daughter, wushu taolu player Breanna, who is a member of the Philippine junior team and a multi-medalist in the last Batang Pinoy.

The young taolu player recently suffered an injury and had to go for treatment which cost her father some amount. UB refunded his expenses and through the initiative of Elegado, who told the athlete’s father: “Matic. Basta para athletes (Automatic. As long as it is for the athletes).”

“UB has sent its support for the four boxers. It was a little to support their Olympic quest,” said Elegado, who last year, when the city was declared under enhanced community quarantine helped secure funds to support BBEAL athletes cope for their sustenance with games suspended and the BBEAL cancelled for the second season.

Some athletes were in fact sent home with help from UB which provided financial assistance.

Athletes, former athletes fellow sports directors and coaches condoled with Elegado’s family. The Philippine Table Tennis Federation, Inc. also sent condolences to the International Umpire’s family.

Elegado was named UB athletic director in 2016 when former Gintong Alay member and athletics coach Eduardo Laureano retired.

He is survived by his Rizalyn, who also teaches at UB, and two children.

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