Former PBA import passes away
Rob Williams and Andre McKoy with sports columnist Tessa Jazmines at the Tanduay Rhum Makers victory party in June 1986. Photo provided by Tessa Jazmines
MANILA, Philippines – Former basketball import Rob Williams, who led Tanduay to a title finish in the 1986 PBA Reinforced Conference, passed away due to congestive heart failure.
He was 52.
According to Joseph Duarte’s report for the Houston Chronicle, the former University of Houston standout died at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center in Houston.
"There's a lot of hurt," said his brother, Ed Williams. "There's a lot of pain, but there's consolation in knowing Rob is in a real peaceful place. There is no suffering now. I know he's with God right now."
Williams has been having health problems since 1998, when he suffered a stroke that left him blind in his left eye and partially paralyzed on his left side.
The 6-foot-2 American was part of the Tanduay Rhum squad which won its first PBA title in 1986.
Williams joined hands with fellow import Andre McCoy to help the locals defeat Great Taste Coffee and win the PBA Reinforced Conference crown.
That was the second of three straight titles for the Rhum Masters which also won the 1986 All-Filipino conference title and the 1987 Open Conference plum.
The team was disbanded a year later after the company ran into some business problems.