Ernesto Pamilar, a pillar in Philippine volleyball, passed away due to heart failure.
He was 52.
Known for his vast experience and tremendous love for the game, Pamilar is considered as a legendary mentor who guided the collegiate careers of some of the country’s best coaches like George Pascua, Shaq Delos Santos, Ramil de Jesus and Brian Esquibel.
He handled the national squad numerous times with the last in 2015 when a hastily formed national squad was sent by the Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, Inc. to an invitational tournament in Vietnam.
His last collegiate assignments were De La Salle University men’s team in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines in 2017 and San Beda College men’s squad in the National Collegiate Athletic Association last year.
Then, he guided Tacloban Fighting Warays in the Premier Volleyball League, a duty that came five years after he led Cagayan Rising Suns to a clean 16-game sweep of the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference.
Those close to him remember him as a no non-sense coach who has an eye for talent after harnessing the likes of Jheck Dionela, Bang Pineda and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas.
“You made the cry,” said Dionela in her social media post.
“The last time we visited you, you said you still have so many plans. But it is what it is. All I can say is thank you to everything you’ve taught me and for the memories with our team.”
“You acted like a father to me. I will miss those fun moments with you. May you rest in peace, coach. We love you!”
Pamilar, actually, underwent a heart bypass operation in November of 2017 to treat his heart disease.
Then on Saturday, just after breakfast, he was rushed to the Philippine Heart Center.
It proved to be his match point.
The final buzzer had sounded for one of the country’s most respected and beloved mentors.