Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Looking back at Ateneo's NCAA three-peat and a failed three-peat

The 1931-33 Ateneo Blue and Whites. The first two title teams were coached by Fr. Matthew Kane S.J. and the last one by Fr. Joseph Geib S.J. Incredibly, all three teams went undefeated! What a streak. In 1934, they lost their first match of that campaign against San Beda that was led by Charlie Borck. We lost to the Red and Whites in the Finals. Fr. Matthew Kane by the way was a former US Marine. Going into the 1931 season, they were without Paddy Padilla who went to UP to take up law. But they knew they still had a plenty good team. The stars were Jesse Suarez, Bing Ouano, Primitivo and Celestino Martinez among others. On the 1933 squad was Jing Roco who would later coach the Blue Eagles to the 1957 & 58 crowns. Jing is the father of actor Bembol and current Ateneo Alumni Association president Monchito Roco.

After winning the 1932 title, there was a torchlight parade to Luneta where the bonfire was held.

This is the line-up of the 1955 Blue Eagles that lost to San Beda in the finals. This was a mix of young players and graduating ones like Ramchand Motoomull and Mario Ballesteros. This was the rookie year of Ed Ocampo (incorrectly identified here as "Ildefonso" when he is "Edgardo") and Jimmy Pestaño. Tito Jimmy is the father of one of my best friends from Ateneo -- Mike -- who helped turn me into a NFL fan. In 1959, Jimmy went to work for Caltex and like all management newbies, they had to work as gas attendants. Former foes from La Salle and San Beda would go to the gas station where he was working and ask him to not only fill up the tank but clean the windshield etc. It was their of getting back at the Ateneo forward. Guess he had the last laugh as he moved up the corporate ladder quicker than others. If you look down further you will find the name of Paquito Diaz. Yes, it's the actor. I am not sure if he played two or three years for the blue and white. Poch Gayoso is the father of former Ateneo players Mike and Jayvee Gayoso. Victor Gaston is the younger brother of Ateneo Blue Eagle legend Chole Gaston and a relative of Fritz Gaston. Chole was a small player but played much bigger than his size. He was a crowd favorite. A year after he finished school, he joined the Philippine Air Force where he was killed during aerial maneuvers. Chole's mother would go to Mass at the old Ateneo campus in Padre Faure everyday in memory of her son.


  1. Isn't Ed Ocampo's name Edgardo Ocampo and not Ildefonso Ocampo?

  2. Hi Aurea. Yes it is Edgardo Ocampo. The register had it wrong. Ed was AHS 51-54 and College 55-58. The line-up is nevertheless correct. He was batchmates with Bobby Littaua and Jimmy Pestaño. But thanks. I should have pointed it out.

  3. No. he played in the early 1950s. Are you related to him? You share the same surname? If you do, please email me at Hope to chat.

  4. Ralph Christian MotoomullJanuary 3, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    Oh, I'm sorry. My bad. Yes, I'm his grandson. Well, not totally. He's the brother of my grandfather, so technically, he's also my grandfather. ^_^ Anyway, my dad told me that Ram played for the Blue Eagles a long time ago. I haven't even seen any picture of him in my lifetime.

  5. Ralph, I do have pictures of him. Let me try and dig them up. Happy New year, dude. Did you also go to Ateneo?

  6. Yeah, but not in Manila. I'm currently studying in Ateneo de Davao University. I think I have cousins who went there. But I also think that most of them went to La Salle and San Beda, so I've heard. Well, it would be good if you can find some. Happy new year to you as well! :)

  7. Hi sir. How are you? Have you found anything? Well, I'm not rushing you in any way. I'm just excited to see those pictures you told me about. :)

  8. Paquito Diaz, the actor, is listed as 21 years old in this 1955 line-up. But, his wiki page indicates that he was born 1937, making him just 18 years old then. Maybe this was also a typo. Can you please confirm this.

    As reference, the wiki page of Cirio Santiago, born 1936, is correct at 19 years old in the line-up.

  9. Re: Paquito Diaz (RIP)

    Yes, the Wikipedia entry shows his year of birth as 1937, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually 1934. This was, after all, a time when there were a lot of older-than-usual high school graduates who had probably stopped schooling during the war years. Paquito was a big star for FEU HS in the early '50s, but somehow didn't play in the 1954-55 season, so it's a fair guess that may have been because he was over the age limit.

    As for his career as a Blue Eagle, it was very uneventful; he was gone after one season due to academics, and while he resurfaced in the FEU lineup for the 1957 UAAP season, he didn't play. He did spend some time in the MICAA and BAA (Businessman's Athletic Association - it was to MICAA what the ABA was to the NBA), but focused mainly on acting starting in the '60s.

    Re: Ed/Ildefonso Ocampo

    Ed Ocampo and Ildefonso Ocampo are two different people. The latter Ocampo played for Adamson HS in the UAAP, right before the Falcons would depart from the UAAP. (They would return in 1969, though.) He was also part of the first Ysmael Steel lineup in the MICAA in 1957, and I'm guessing he was part of the massive academic purge that also claimed Paquito Diaz. As for Ed Ocampo (who stood 5'9 or 5'10 on most records), I think he may have passed on basketball as a freshman so that he could focus on football. Will have to double-check on that the next time I return to Ateneo's Archives.

    Re: Rafael "Jing" Roco Sr.

    Bembol's dad would have only been 10 or 11 back in 1933; in the 1949 NCAA preview on Philippines Herald (which I have photos of c/o National Library), he's listed as being 27 years old, so that may be another Roco on that 1933 team.

    Great read nonetheless - I recall that complete 1955 Blue Eagles lineup from the time I was researching in the Archives section of Ateneo. (I'm an independent sports researcher working on what I hope would be a one-stop shop for Pinoy basketball stats and history.) If I may also add to the trivia, Rody Zshornack is the brother of the late Zaldy Zshornack, the '50s-'60s matinee idol. Zaldy actually had a much better basketball career up until high school, but decided to focus on showbiz after graduating from MCU High.

  10. Serafin Vida played for Ysmael Steel

  11. Wow, this is the first time I researched my uncle, he was a great mentor to me when i was still at grade school, thought me a lot about basketball, even when he had cancer and he couldnt speak, he would still watch me practice, Thank you Tito Mario, you were inspiration to me, I am so sorry that you hadnt seen me play pro in Japan, I hope you are now playing with the angels above us. Thank you for being a best friend to Dad, hope that you both playing basketball together