One of the promising football players in the Philippines has passed away on Sunday morning.
Far Eastern University (FEU) standout Kieth Absalon died after being hit by shrapnel from an improvised explosive device (IED) in his hometown, Masbate City, Masbate, according to reports.
He was only 21 years old.
Absalon, a former UAAP football juniors Most Valuable Player, was cycling in Purok 4, Barangay Anas when the explosion occurred at around 6:45 a.m., as per a report from Masbate police. He was killed alongside his 40-year-old cousin, Nolven Absalon, whose son, Chrisbin Daniel Absalon, survived and was hospitalized due to injuries.
Absalon last suited up for the FEU seniors team and the Malaya Football Club.
"Our hearts are broken as we bid farewell to a brilliant player of #MalayaFC and FEU men's football team," Malaya FC said in a tweet.
"A born leader, follower of the highest order, a kind, gentle, and respectful soul. Thank you for everything, #KiethAbsalon. Rest easy in that big football pitch in the sky."
In his time in the amateur circuit, Absalon was an instrumental piece for FEU in both the high school and collegiate football teams. He was a multi-titled booter with the Baby Tamaraws, and was even named UAAP Juniors MVP in Season 78. His last stint with the green-and-gold came in Season 82 as a starter for the FEU men's football squad.
Absalon made his presence felt in the international scene as well when he played for the Philippine under-19 team that represented the country in the 2018 AFF Under-19 Championship in Indonesia.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.