Antero “Terry” Saldaña, one of the greatest power forwards in the 80’s, died due to chronic kidney and diabetes complications Wednesday afternoon at around 2PM. He was 64 years old.
A six-time PBA champion, Saldaña, who earned the sobriquet “Plastic Man” for his ability to contort his body and squeeze into tight situations to make a difficult shot, had been living in Laguna the past couple of years.
According to PBA Legends Foundation secretary and Toyota 1982 batchmate Ed Cordero, Saldaña was rushed to the Quezon City General Hospital in Project 8 last Sunday morning. He was confined there for three days until his passing.
It can be recalled in 2021 that Saldaña made the headlines after friends and fans posted photos of Saldaña seated on a wheelchair and seeking financial to battle his kidney problems and diabetes. Several personalities, including the PBA Legends Foundation under the stewardship of Atoy Co, were able to provide financial assistance.
Saldaña was last seen by the fans playing in the Crispa-Toyota reunion game held in 2003, where he powered his Tamaraws team to a 65-61 victory over the Redmanizers. Saldaña topscored for Toyota with 15 points.
Saldaña was the PBA’s first Most Improved Player winner. He played 19 non-consecutive seasons in the PBA suiting up for Toyota, Ginebra, Alaska, Swift, Shell and Red Bull. He also played for the Batangas Blades in the MBA in 1999. He was a member of the 1980 RP Youth team that played in the Asian Youth championship in Bangkok and won the silver medal, losing out to China in the gold medal game, 94-84.
Saldaña’s remains are still at the Quezon City General Hospital. The hospital is waiting for a relative to identify and secure the body.