PBA player dies during team practice

• The PBA is mourning the sudden death of Blackwater Elite’s Gilbert Bulawan
• Bulawan collapsed during their team’s practice
• The 6-foot-5 player was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is mourning the sudden death of one of its players.

Blackwater Elite forward Gilbert Bulawan collapsed during their team’s practice on Sunday, July 3, at the SG Stadium in Araneta Avenue, Quezon City. He was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center, but doctors pronounced him dead on arrival. He was 29.

Team owner Dioceldo Sy said the 6-foot-5 Bicolano player collapsed right in front of him.

“Nakayakap kay [He was hugging] Reil Cervantes and fell on the floor. I looked at him… his eyeballs were white and unconscious. Instantly I got scared,” Sy told Rappler in a text message.

“We had team prayer for Gilbert and we all went to the hospital. The team was in shock. He even answered me in Facebook 7 hours ago. The team was emotional,” Sy added.

Massive cardiac arrest was said to be the cause of the player’s death.

PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa offered his sympathy to Bulawan’s family.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of one of our beloved players and a member of our PBA family, Gilbert Bulawan. On behalf of the PBA, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family, and I would like to request everyone to pray for his eternal and peaceful rest,” Narvasa added.

Some PBA players took to Twitter to offer their thoughts and prayers to the bereaved family of the Blackwater Elite forward.

Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters: “Sad news today. Condolences to the family of Gilbert Bulawan. Rest in peace.”

Gabe Norwood (Rain or Shine Elasto Painters): “Heart is heavy hearing the news of Gilbert Bulawan. Prayers go out to his family and loved ones.”

Doug Kramer (GlobalPort Batang Pier): “Oh my… During practice pa! Rip Gilbert Bulawan! What sad news!