THE late Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., businessman-sportsman and longtime La Salle chief backer, was more than just “Boss ECJ.”
Ask former Green Archers star forward Jeron Teng.
“I’m really saddened by the news of Boss ECJ’s passing. He was a great godfather to us during my years playing for the green and white,” Teng, now proving his worth with Alaska in the pro league, wrote on his Instagram account.
Cojuangco passed away last Tuesday at the St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City in Taguig due to a lingering illness. He was 85.
Teng, who was named finals MVP in 2016 when the Archers won their last UAAP title under then coach Aldin Ayo, recalled one inspiring incident in 2012 that typified Cojuangco’s passion for the game and love for his alma mater, La Salle.
“Despite his health conditions, he always made us feel his presence and support for the basketball team. I will always remember the time when there was a strong typhoon back in year 2012, team practice was moved to LSGH because of heavy flooding in different areas,” said the 6-foot-2 Teng.
“Despite the typhoon and the flood, we saw boss ECJ entering the court to watch our practice and during that time he had an oxygen tank with him. The whole team was very surprised, and we were all moved because his presence alone during that time really meant a lot to us. This memory will always remain in my heart because he showed us that more than a team, we are one family.”
Ayo, who left the Archers in 2018 to call the shots for University of Santo Tomas, also paid tribute to Cojuangco.
“RIP Boss. Thank You for the Opportunity. Forever Grateful for Your Kindness and Generosity,” Ayo said on Twitter.
Other former members of the Taft-based squad such as playmakers Almond Vosotros and Kib Montalbo expressed grief with the passing of Cojuangco, the basketball godfather who bankrolled the defunct national team known as Northern Cement in the 1980s under the late American strategist Ron Jacobs.
“Together with the whole La Sallian community, we mourn for your loss. Thank you for your countless contribution, Ninong Boss ECJ! Rest in peace!” said Vosotros, a member of the La Salle team that bagged the crown in 2013, on Twitter.
“Boss Danding, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity that you have blessed me and my family with. Thank you for believing in me. RIP, Boss,” Montalbo said on Instagram.