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.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ed Daquioag: From ice tubig to gold medals for the country

Ed Daquioag: From ice tubig to gold medals for the country
by rick olivares

Barong Dingras, Ilocos Norte has a small population. According to a census conducted in 2010, there are less than 2,500 people living in the barangay. “Maliit pa rin ang populasyon,” says Ed Daquiaog, who is perhaps is its most famous resident.


It’s so small and out of the place that when former UST head coach Pido Jarencio was asked where he recruited Daquioag, a prized find for UST, all he could say was, “somewhere in the Philippines.”

“Yung ang sinasabi – ‘out of nowhere,’” joked Jarencio.

While Daquioag has made a name for himself as a promising basketball player, he brushes aside any notions of fame. “Wala pa naman ako na-achieve,” he objects very humbly.  

The 25-year old was recently named to the Philippine national team that will compete in the 2017 William Jones Cup in Taiwan. It will be his second time to don a national jersey, the first being last year when he played under Josh Reyes in Iran.

“Basta nakasama ako sa team. Sixteen kami pero 12 to play,” he notes of his chances. “Kung mabigyan ako ng pagkakataon ay ibibigay ko yung best ko. Dream rin to at lalo na – para sa bayan.”

Sometimes, the high-leaping former UST Growling Tiger cannot believe his own luck. When he was scouted by Jarencio and then assistant Beaujing Acot, he didn’t even catch their attention. “Si Jeff Javillionar (who would go on to play for National University) yung gusto nilang kunin,” Ed revealed. “Sinama lang nila ako para hindi ma-homesick si Jeff.”

As luck would have it, he would eventually be taken in by UST where helped the EspaƱa-based squad win a national championship (the UAAP title eluded them though). “Nung bata pa ako, ang pinaglalabanan lang namin ay ice tubig na tig-pi-piso. O kaya Coke. Kung maglaro kami mula umaga hanggang gabi. Madilim na sige pa rin. Naka-tsinelas pa ako kung hindi naka-paa kung maglaro. Bigla na lang UAAP na! Grabe. Hindi ko akalain.”

And he went on to compete for championships and could be seen on national television. And now Ed Daquioag is part of the Gilas cadet program. “Ngayon naglalaro ako para kay Norman Black sa Meralco. Dati, nakakalaban lang namin siya nung nasa Ateneo siya. Ngayon coach ko na siya. Maraming blessings.”

“Pero magandang blessing to kung matulungan ko ang national team manalo ng championship.”

Not bad for a kid who one only competed for ice tubig.

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