Arnie Tuadles: Ex-PBA Players Who Died in Accident


Arnie Tuadles was a famous basketball player in the Philippines. He started playing in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in 1979. Arnie played for several teams, including the Toyota Super Corollas, Ginebra San Miguel, Great Taste Coffee Makers, Purefoods Hotdogs, and Shell Rimula-X.

On November 2, 1996, Arnie Tuadles was killed by a gambler Albert Ambet Antonio. What is the accident happened? And why did Arnie Tuadles’ wife finally forgive Ambet Antonio? We will be discussing the Tuadles’ Death incident, how authorities handled this case, why the widow of Arnie Tuadles forgave Antonio, and a brief description of Tuadles’ career highlights and achievements.

Arnie Tuadles - Ex-PBA Players Who Died in Accident

Who was Arnie Tuadles?

In the PBA News 2024, here is a quick introduction of Arnie Tuadles, a former Filipino basketball player who played in the PBA for 13 years.

Full Name Arnulfo "Arnie" Tuadles
Nickname Arnie
Date of Birth August 15, 1956
Place of Birth Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines
Date of Death November 2, 1996
Nationality Filipino
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Position Small Forward / Power Forward
College San Jose Recoletos
PBA Draft Undrafted (Entered the PBA in 1979)
PBA Teams Toyota Super Corollas, Ginebra San Miguel, Great Taste Coffee Makers, Purefoods Hotdogs, Shell Rimula-X
Playing Style Versatile, strong inside presence

Arnie Tuadles was known for his versatility on the court and his ability to play both as a small forward and a power forward. His strong inside presence and scoring ability made him a key player for every team he played with. Tuadles began his career with the Toyota Super Corollas in 1979 and quickly made a name for himself as one of the league's top players.

Throughout his career, Tuadles was a part of multiple championship teams, contributing significantly to their successes. His skill set allowed him to adapt to different playing styles and team dynamics, making him a valuable asset in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Off the court, Tuadles was known for his humble personality and dedication to the sport. Despite facing various challenges throughout his career, he remained a beloved figure in Filipino basketball. His tragic death in 1996 was a significant loss to the basketball community, but his legacy continues to inspire young athletes in the Philippines.

In addition to his athletic prowess, Tuadles' journey from a small town in Zamboanga del Norte to becoming a PBA star serves as a testament to his hard work and determination. His contributions to the sport have left an indelible mark on Philippine basketball history, ensuring that Arnie Tuadles will always be remembered as one of the greats.

Professional Career of Arnie Tuadles

In Arnie Tuadles’s first year in 1979, he made an immediate impact in the PBA, earning the Rookie of the Year award due to his exceptional performance throughout the season. Known for his strength, versatility, and skill on the court, Tuadles excelled in both the small forward and power forward positions. His ability to adapt and perform in various roles made him a valuable player for any team he joined.

Tuadles started his PBA career with the Toyota Super Corollas, where he quickly became a key player. His strong inside presence and scoring ability helped the team secure several championships. After his stint with Toyota, Tuadles continued to showcase his talent with other PBA teams, including Ginebra San Miguel, Great Taste Coffee Makers, Purefoods Hotdogs, and Shell Rimula-X.

Throughout his career, Tuadles was known for his clutch performances in crucial games, often stepping up when his team needed him the most. His consistency and dedication to the game earned him multiple selections to the PBA Mythical Team, an honor reserved for the league’s best players. This recognition solidified his status as one of the top players in the PBA during his era.

Tuadles’ contributions went beyond just scoring; he was also known for his defensive skills, rebounding, and leadership on the court. His all-around game made him a complete player and a fan favorite. His charismatic personality and humble demeanor endeared him to fans, teammates, and opponents alike.

Arnie Tuadles had a successful basketball career and was beloved by many fans. His untimely death in 1996 was a significant loss to the basketball community, but his legacy continues to live on. He is still remembered as one of the greats in Philippine basketball, and his story serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes.

Arnie Tuadles’ Career Achievements

Here are a few highlights and significant achievements of Tuadles as per the PBA News 2024.

  • 1990 Most Outstanding Player (awarded to him by the Sports and Columnist Organization of the Philippines (SCOOP)
  • PBA Mythical Second Team (1984)
  • PBA Mythical Five (1979)
  • PBA Rookie of the Year (1979)

Arnie Tuadles - Ex-PBA Players Who Died in Accident

Ex-PBA Player Arnie Tuadles’ Death Incident

On November 2, 1996, Arnie Tuadles played poker with local gambler Alberto "Ambet" Antonio. The only people at the mansion were Antonio's bodyguard, some club security staff, Tuadles, and Antonio. Antonio finished in second place, about $3,500 behind the winner.

Antonio claims that he was acting in self-defense and that "it was homicide, not murder." He claims that Tuadles attempted to take his gun from a desk next to the poker table during a fight. The gun went off in the subsequent fight.

Arnie Tuadles had in fact been shot at close range, as shown by an autopsy later on. However, there were no signs of deep wounds that would have suggested a fight. "If there was a struggle, Arnold would have overpowered Ambet Antonio," says Tuadles's widow, Suzette.

Top Philippine authorities are unsure about other aspects of the situation. Prosecutors claim that instead of calling for help, Antonio let his opponent bleed to death as his bodyguard, an officer in the San Juan police department, watched. That afternoon, the gambler got in touch with Mayor Estrada and eventually turned himself in.

However, according to two of the club's security officers, that only happened after Antonio convinced them to go to his Quezon City home, where he set fire to any game-related evidence. In the meantime, Tuadles' car was reportedly discarded in a nearby town by Antonio's driver.

Controversial Handling of Tuadles Case

The handling of the case by local law enforcers sparked rumors of a cover-up in the Senate. On November 6, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, a former defense secretary, expressed suspicions of an effort to protect someone by omitting details in police work.

He warned national police chief Recaredo Sarmiento that if such efforts were confirmed, he would ensure the police organization faced consequences. Sarmiento did not receive an official report until five days after the killing.

Another controversial issue was that a police investigator gave the laser sight from Antonio's 9-mm Beretta to Antonio's lawyer, which tampered with the evidence. Additionally, the bullet that killed Tuadles was never found.

Initially, Antonio was held in the air-conditioned office of San Juan police chief Fernando Dumpit. Only after the media complained about his "VIP" treatment was Antonio moved to the local jail.

Why did Arnie Tuadles’ Wife Forgive Ambet Antonio?

Suzette Tuadles, the widow of former PBA player Arnulfo Arnie Tuadles, said she forgave her husband's killer a long time ago. She welcomed the release of Albert Ambet Antonio, a former Games and Amusement Board official, from jail. Suzette hopes Antonio will lead a more righteous life now that he has a second chance.

She said, "The best thing that he can do is to straighten out his life. My concern now is to have my kids graduate from college."

On What grounds, Antonio was Paroled?

An official from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) commented that the conditional pardon hasn't improved Antonio's situation. Speaking anonymously, the official said Ambet Antonio might have been better off waiting for a full parole grant or until his sentence expired.

"I don’t think he would be in a convenient position because under a conditional pardon, going out of your house is like challenging the gods of luck."

The official mentioned that Antonio would be confined to his home in Greenhills, San Juan. His neighbors would be responsible for monitoring him. Officials from the justice department's probation and parole administration have coordinated with Antonio's neighbors to ensure he is supervised.

"If Antonio violates any rules and goes outside his home, he would be apprehended and brought back to his cell here," the source said.


Arnie Tuadles, a celebrated Filipino basketball player, had a distinguished career in the PBA, playing for multiple teams and earning accolades such as Rookie of the Year and multiple selections to the PBA Mythical Team.

Tragically, Tuadles' life ended on November 2, 1996, under controversial circumstances. Despite the controversy, Tuadles' widow, Suzette, forgave Antonio, who was later conditionally pardoned and confined to his home.

Arnie Tuadles' legacy remains influential in Philippine basketball, and his tragic death highlighted issues within the justice system while underscoring the enduring impact of his career and life on the basketball community and beyond.