By Ernest Hernandez, Waylon Galvez and Brian YalungDanny Florencio, one of the most lethal offensive weapons in the history of the PBA, passed away at the age of 70 in California on Feb. 25, 2018.
Word of his death spread on social media. PBA gunner Allan Caidic also paid his tribute to the basketball legend on Twitter.
“Rest in Peace to my friend, my kumpare and one of my idols in Philippine basketball DANNY FLORENCIO”
Rest in peace to my friend, my kumpare and one of my idols in Philippine basketball DANNY FLORENCIO pic.twitter.com/g6U8Teluzp
— Allan Caidic (@trggrmn) February 25, 2018
MB Sports Online reached out to former PBA coach Rino Salazar to further verify the reports.
“Sabi ni Danny Manalastas (a former player from FEU who played under coach Turo Valenzona) na stroke siya noong isang lingo at namatay kanina.”
Toti Bautista, a close friend of Florencio, told the Bulletin that the member of the 1968 and 1972 Olympic teams died after suffering a stroke in Pittsburgh, California where he was based.
“First time na nangyari sa kanya yun,” said Bautista.
Florencio is a member of the 25 and 40 PBA Greatest Players of all time. His professional career spanned from 1968-1983 and is one of few players who suited up for Crispa and Toyota.
At the end of his career, he went into the PBA’s all-time record books as one of the Top 10 players in scoring average and Top 25 in free throw shooting percentage.
‘Daredevil Danny’ once carried the nickname ‘The Skywalker’ before Samboy Lim because of his acrobatic moves under the rim and pinpoint jump shots.
Florencio held the highest scoring average for a local in a PBA season with 32.3 points in 1977. He was also able to score 50 points four times during his 8-year stint in the league.
Before Allan Caidic’s record-setting 79-point game, Florencio owned the record for most points scored of 64 points. He achieved the feat playing for the 7-UP Uncolas in a game against the Toyota Tamaraws.
Before joining the PBA, the 5-foot-10 guard-forward played for the University of Santo Tomas (1965-67) and then for the YCO Painters in the MICCA (1968-69).
In the international scene, Florencio will be best remembered as the hero for the PH National squad that faced South Korea in the 1967 FIBA Asia Cup. He was also a part of the team that represented the Philippines the last time they went to the Olympics back in 1972.
At the moment, the player who has been likened to ‘Daredevil Danny’ is Mac Belo of the Blackwater Elite because of their fairly close features and all-around game.