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Puerto Rican basketball legend Mariano “Tito” Ortiz dies

(Photo courtesy of Vaqueros Twitter)

This article was translated & edited from the original that appeared in ENDI.com

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One of the legendary figures of Puerto Rican basketball, Mariano “Tito” Ortiz, passed away, as reported last, Saturday, by the Bayamón Cowboys franchise on social networks.

According to the portal of the National Superior Basketball (BSN), Ortiz, nicknamed “El Géminis”, was 77 years old. The team did not report the cause of his death. Ortiz was a star in the (BSN) with the Bayamón Cowboys and on the National Team in the 1960-70s. He played his entire career with the Cowboys and was part of the ’70s dynasty that won five straight titles. He achieved eight championships in 17 seasons.

The league reports on its website that Ortiz was selected the Rookie of the Year in 1965 and the Best Defensive Player in 1974. It also adds that he played in three Olympic Games (1968, 1972 and 1976), in two Pan American Games, two Central American Games and two World Cups.

He totaled 5,857 points with 2,744 rebounds in his career with the Cowboys. He began his career with Bayamón in 1965 and ended in 1981.

The president of the BSN, Ricardo Dalmau, also went to social networks to mourn the death of the former basketball player.
“My most sincere condolences and solidarity with the family of “Géminis” Tito Ortíz. A supportive hug. The basketball family is in mourning. RIP the Olympian”, wrote the son of the legendary basket player Raymond Dalmau.

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