In the 60s, it was Yco under coach Caloy Loyzaga against Ysmael Steel with Tito Eduque directing. There was Yco’s defensive wizard, Ed Ocampo, against Ysmael’s offensive guns, Narciso Bernardo and Jun Papa. Future senators Freddie Webb and Bobby Jaworski were manning the guard chores for Yco. The burly ‘Big Boy’ Reynoso patrolled Ysmael’s shaded line like a punked-out pitbull.
Come join me as we take a trip down memory lane.
The 60s saw the Philippines still clinging on to basketball supremacy in Asia. We took the Asian Basketball Conference (ABC) crown in 1960, followed this up with a gold medal in the Asian Games in 1962, and topped that with another ABC gold in 1963. Among the standouts then, with Caloy Loyzaga’s exit from active cage service in 1960, were Carlos Badion, who was adjudged MVP in the 1960 ABC; the upcoming offensive machine, Narciso Bernardo; and his perennial arch-rival and defense specialist, Ed Ocampo.
However, it was now becoming clear that the taller and heftier quintets in the Asian region were beginning to learn the ropes and inching closer. Japan took first crack at the Philippines’ enviable record, upsetting our Nationals by taking the ABC crown in 1965. Philippines had earlier breezed through the Japanese squad 74-54 in the no-bearing preliminary round. In the all-important Championship Round however, the…
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