Sonny Cabatu

Santiago Cabatu Sr.
Personal information
Born (1960-10-10) October 10, 1960
Ilocos Sur, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
College University of Northern Philippines
PBA draft 1985 Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Shell Azodrin Bugbusters
Playing career 1985–1998
Position Center/Power Forward
Number 5, 55
Career history
Shell Azodrin Bugbusters (1985-1987)
Great Taste Milkmasters (1988)
Purefoods Hotdogs (1989, 1997)
Diet Sarsi Sizzlers (1990-1991)
Ginebra San Miguel (1992-1995)
Cagayan de Oro Nuggets

Santiago "Sonny" Cabatu Sr. (born on October 10, 1960 in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Philippines) is a Filipino retired professional basketball player in the Philippine Basketball Association and was the very first draft pick of the league in 1985.[1] He is also the father of current Philippine Patriots player Junjun Cabatu.[2] He also played from the Cagayan de Oro Nuggets in the Metropolitan Basketball Association.

Amateur career

A native of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Cabatu started his basketball career at the University of Northern Philippines from 1977-1979. Later in 1979, he transferred to the University of Baguio where as a UB Cardinal, he was recruited by Coach Nic Jorge to play for the Masagana 99 team in 1980. During his stint with M-99, Sonny also enrolled with PSBA and played for the Jaguars in the MUCAA. From Masagana, he has joined several teams as Filsyn, Presto and Solid Mills in the MICAA and in 1982, he became a member of Crispa's Paul Jordan team, coached by Nat Canson, that became the winningest team in local tournaments.

In 1984, Cabatu was part of the Development Bank of Rizal team that won the championship of the PABL Ambassador's Cup. After Bank of Rizal disbanded, Sonny went to Country Fair team under coach Larry Albano, which competed in the Jones Cup tournament in Taipei. He joined ESQ Marketing midway in the PABL second conference and Sonny made history by winning the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award twice in a row with ESQ capturing the second and third conference championships.

National team

Cabatu has been a national player twice, with the Philippine team to the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, India, under coach Nat Canson and the 1983 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore under coach Larry Albano.


  1. Japa, Raffy (1989-04-01). "Sonny Cabatu: 'Awkward is my style'". Manila Standard. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
  2. Payo, Jasmine W. (2006-02-09). "Painters seek title sweep vs Wizards". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
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