MANILA, Philippines -- Oscar "Oskie" Santelices, a former coach of the national table tennis team, has passed away at the age of 59.
The University of the Philippines Table Tennis Team, which Santelices coached, confirmed the sad news on Monday as they paid tribute to their mentor.
"He was an integral part of the team's history, growth, and success," the UP Table Tennis Team said in a Facebook post. "We extend our heartfelt condolences to his beloved family. We also offer our fervent prayers for his soul's eternal repose and his family's healing."
"Rest easy, Coach Oskie. Thank you for all that you have done for the team. You will continue to live in our hearts and memories."
Santelices coached the national team in the late 1990s but it was in UP that he grew to even greater prominence as a coach. In Season 76, he steered the UP women's team to an upset of the powerhouse De La Salle University, then bannered by the late great Ian Lariba.
The Philippine Table Tennis Federation also expressed their condolences with Santelices' family.
Santelices played for University of Santo Tomas in his collegiate days, and was a three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player and a four-time champion.
In a Facebook post, UST's Institute of Physical Education and Athletics paid tribute to Santelices, noting that he "served and inspired a lot of table tennis players locally and internationally."