Legendary coach Edmundo “Ato” Badolato, considered the greatest Filipino high school (HS) basketball coach, has passed away on Sunday night due to cardiac arrest. He was 74 years old.

Tributes from mostly his players he once coached were posted on social media for Mr. Badolato, who transformed the San Beda junior program as the yardstick in the country.

“Sad news. The winningest high school coach, my mentor, Coach Ato Badolato passed away this evening (Sunday),” said Brgy. Ginebra stalwart LA Tenorio. “Will miss you, Ato. Ikaw ang malakingrasonbakitakonanditosaposisyon ko ngayon (You are the big reason why I’m here in my position now).”

Also posting tributes were champion coach Eric Altamirano, Borgie Hermida, Benjie Paras, Dindo Pumaren, Ronnie Magsanoc, JVee Casio and Baser Amer among others.

Mr. Badolato has also served as UAAP commissioner and national team coach in the past.

Details of his wake have yet to be finalized. —Joey Villar