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Ex-PBA cager Bolado dies in road crash

Cris Bolado, a former PBA veteran who won 10 championships that included the Alaska Milkmen’s 1996 Grand Slam team, was killed Sunday in a motorcycle accident in Cambodia. He was 47.

A report by Fresh News Asia, a Cambodian-based news service, said Bolado died while being rushed to the hospital after his motorcycle was hit by a pickup truck in Tbong Khmum district Sunday morning.

Cris Bolado (MB file photo | Ramon Samson)

Cris Bolado (MB file photo | Ramon Samson)

Inasal Nation, a Filipino restaurant ran by Bolado in Phnom Penh, later confirmed his death on its Facebook page, adding that it is open to accepting financial assistance for the Bolado’s remains to be brought back to the Philippines – presumably in his hometown of Lucban, Quezon.

Bolado played nine seasons in the PBA from 1994 to 2003 for Alaska, Purefoods, Gordon’s Gin/Ginebra, Pop Cola (twice), San Miguel, Batang Red Bull, and Coca-Cola.

The wide-bodied former National University mainstay never got a chance to play a prominent role in any of the teams he played in, serving as a second or third-string big man during his pro career. But Bolado earned the adulation of fans and was nicknamed “Jumbo Bolado”.

But Bolado was also regarded as a “Lucky Charm” for having won 10 championships despite limited action. He won five in a row from the 1995 Governors’ Cup until the 1997 All-Filipino Cup for Alaska and Purefoods – including the famed 1996 Grand Slam under coach Tim Cone.