Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in car accident

(UPDATED) Former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Bryan Gahol, who suited up for four PBA teams in a seven-year career, died late Monday night in a multiple-vehicle accident along the South Luzon Expressway near Alabang. He was 36.

According to reports, Gahol was onboard a Nissan Urvan bound for Quezon City with four other companions when their vehicle was struck by a jeep, causing it to overturn. The jeep's driver was quoted as saying he lost control of his vehicle after they were hit by a truck.

A female passenger onboard the Nissan Urvan also perished, while three others escaped with minor injuries.

Gahol was a a high school star at the Liceo de Los Banos and a member of Philippine under-18 youth team that placed sixth in the FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship held in Manila in 1995. Among his teammates on the youth team were future PBA pros Paolo Mendoza, Ogie Gumatay, Gerard Francisco, Danny Ildefonso, and Mark Telan.

After his stint with the youth team, Gahol joined Mendoza and Gumatay at the University of the Philippines. He suited up for the Fighting Maroons for three seasons, helping lead the team to back-to-back Final Four appearances in 1996 and 1997.

The six-foot-four Gahol was picked fourth overall in the 1999 PBA draft by the Mobiline Phone Pals (now known as the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters). He went on to suit up for Alaska, San Miguel Beer and Red Bull in a career that ended in 2006. He was part of the Red Bull team that won the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference title.

Gahol went back to his hometown of Los Banos, Laguna after his playing days were over and eventually entered politics. He was elected municipal councilor in 2010 but narrowly lost in a re-election bid in 2013.

Several members of the PBA family have expressed sadness with Gahol's passing.

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