Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr., the president of PAL Holdings Inc. and the son of one of the wealthiest men in the Philippines, has died after collapsing during a basketball game in Mandaluyong City, part of Metro Manila. His sister Vivienne Tan rev revealed news of the 53-year-old’s death to the media Monday. The cause of death was a brain aneurysm.

“It is with deep sorrow that I announce the passing of my brother, Lucio ‘Bong’ Tan, Jr. this morning, November 11, 2019. His untimely passing leaves a big void in our hearts and our group’s management team which would be very hard to fill. Bong was a son, husband, father, friend and, most importantly, our elder brother whom we all relied on for advice, counsel, and leadership.” Vivienne said in a statement.

The Chinese born taipan (or tycoon) Lucio Tan Sr, 85, is worth an estimated $3.5 billion in 2019, down from the $7.5 billion that Forbes Magazine listed as his worth in 2013. The younger Lucio Tan’s death comes at a time when he was assuming more and bigger responsibilities within the family’s businesses.

In October 2018 he was named the president and chief operating officer of PAL Holdings, the parent company of Philippine Airlines. He was also director of the family’s main holding company, LT Group Inc. and he held positions in its many subsidiaries including Philippine National Bank, Tanduay Distillers Inc., Asia Brewery Inc., Fortune Tobacco Corp., and Eton Properties Philippines Inc.

Because of his father’s wealth, Bong was able to earn a civil engineering degree from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University.

His high school years were spent in Singapore because it was a time of rampant kidnappings in the Philippines where he would have been a prime target during the corrupt “reign” of Ferdinand Marcos who ruled from 1965 to 1986. The elder Lucio Tan was a crony of Marcos which was most likely an asset to him obtaining his fortune.

If Bong had a passion it was obviously for sports, particularly basketball. He was a highly competitive swimmer and table tennis player from his days in Singapore, but basketball was his favorite sport. He bragged in a 2016 profile by the Inquirer that, “I can beat them by experience,” referring to taking on younger, taller, and faster players. He even compared basketball to a “mind game” like chess.

His love of hoops led him to organize company sporting events where he played alongside and against employees. In September, he was named coach of the basketball team of the family-owned University of the East. His death will be classified as one where the person died doing what he loved best. 

He is survived by wife Julie and two sons, Hun hun (Lucio Tan III) and Kyle Tan.