8 Chinoy athletes who found their luck in sports
Barry Viloria on Feb 09, 2016 03:30 AM
To get to the top, these champs of Filipino-Chinese decent definitely relied more on attitude and gameplay over just, well, any lucky charm. (Photo taken from Chris Tiu's Instagram: @chris_tiu17)
No racism here—we’re just trying to celebrate the ethnic diversity that has also drawn itself indelible in local sports. As it is distinguishing many of us are really of East Asian decent anyway, thinking of Filipino-Chinese sports men and women who have risen to popularity proves an easy task. Here, as the Chinese lunar calendar turns a new leaf, we remember some of the best Chinoy athletes who have made their mark in sports here and abroad!
1. Gretchen Ho
Athlete Ho fittingly puts her sports knowledge to use as the main anchor of sports show The Daily Serve on ANC and a co-host on Gameday Weekend on ABS-CBN Sports and Action. Why, she played for the Ateneo Lady Eagles from Seasons 72-75—joining the ranks of former teammates Fille Cainglet and Dzi Gervacio, as among the lady volleybelles who reignited the country’s interest in women’s volleyball. (In both Seasons 74 and 75, Ateneo landed as a finalist losing to fierce rivals from La Salle.) Ho, who still gets to play for Petron in the semipros and has evolved into a sought-after celebrity athlete, admits she used to shun the “entire artista image” before opportunities to do sportscasting came her way. But, the 2015 Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards for Television Best Lifesttle Host nominee tells ABS-CBN Sports, “Now, I’m given the chance to discover new things and meet a lot of people. So, why not? By having that open mind about things, I actually discovered a lot more.”
2-3. Jeric and Jeron Teng
Never mind 2014 when they strutted in their bare torsos at a really risqué fashion show. Rewind to UAAP Season 76 in 2013 when Alvin Teng’s two baller sons playing for different schools faced off in an unforgettable finals match. Jeric, who then left his last playing year in UST with a second place finish, has since suited up for the Elasto Painters in the PBA. (He was drafted 12th overall.) Jeron, who won in the brothers’ basketball war, is still La Salle’s brightest player in the current UAAP.
4. Paul Lee
Rain or Shine recently saw an unfortunate turn of events at the Philippine Cup, with many injured players including their guard Lee. How much of a non-negotiable player he is? Lee helped bring a championship to the San Sebastian Staglets in the NCAA Juniors in his senior year, and rose to become both Most Improved Player and Mythical Five awardee playing for the University of the East in the UAAP. He skipped his last playing year in the collegiate league for the PBA, where he was picked 2nd overall by Rain or Shine in the 2011 PBA Draft. In 2014, reports surfaced about Lee mulling over a chance to play in China. By then, he was reportedly offered a spot in one of the teams in the Chinese Basketball Association!
5. Chris Tiu
It’s a good thing he hasn’t quit yet, after last year’s confusing back and forth. Yet another Rain or Shine player who is Fil-Chinese, Tiu makes one of the most charismatic basketball players in Philippine history having earned a huge fan base as a former UAAP heartthrob. (Iglesia ni Chris Tiu, duh.) After nabbing Ateneo’s first championship in six years back in 2008, the star Eagle unsurprisingly landed a spot in the national team—getting to play and then winning a gold in the 2011 SEA Games. Off sports, Tiu is a businessman and host. He also maintains his being a youth icon by being involved in various advocacies.
The Guiding Forces behind the #MapuaCardinals Head Coach Atoy "The Fortune Cookie" Co - Former King Cardinal and 1971 NCAA MVP. One of the Greatest Basketball Players in the history of the Philippines. Asst. Coach Ed Cordero - 4-time NCAA Champion as an Asst. Coach with the SBC Red Lions (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011) Asst. Coach Randy Alcantara - Member of the back-to-back Mapua Cardinals Championship team in 1990 and 1991. #TakeoverNCAA #GalingMIT #NCAASeason91
6. Atoy Co
Past his shirt-stripping at a Mapúa Cardinals game this season where he is coach (the shtick ended with him being tossed off the game), the Fortune Cookie remains one of Philippine basketball’s living legends. Co, a product of Mapúa and an NCAA star player in the early 70s, went on to play for the Crispa Redmanizers in the team’s two historical Grand Slam feats. Co was also one of the first champion athletes who tried their hand and inevitably found success in showbiz and politics—next to coaching. Co also became an enduring commissioner for UNTV.
Maraming Salamat sa lahat ng sumuporta at nagdasal para sa amin! Its been a great run for this Team! Sobrang Proud ako at naging parte ako ng Pamilya na to. Hinding hindi ko makakalimutan ang experience na to. Hanggang sa tumanda ako! Mahirap man ang pinagdaanan naming lahat, sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam dahil alam ko at alam naming lahat na sigurado kami na mapagmamalaki kami ng mga anak namin paglaki nila at madami kami napasaya na mga Kababayanan namin sa buong mundo! Kaya Kung mabibigyan ulit ako ng pagkakataon magsilbi sa bayan hindi ako magdadalawang isip na sumama at lumaban para sa bayan ulit! Maraming Maraming salamat ulit sainyo mga kababayan naming Pilipino at hindi mga Pilipino na humanga at nagdasal para samin!!! At sa lahat ng Haters namin Maraming Salamat din dahil sainyo kami kumukuha ng lakas bawat laban!! 👍 #LabanPilipinas #puso #PlayPinoy #pusotothemax #NSD @jalapag3 @gnorwood5 @douthitmarcus @jdhawaii20 @japethaguilar35 @jeanmarc15 @wanpayb15 @lethalweapon03 @jeanmarc15 @gry_dvd20 @stemaradi @joshreyes8 @coachchot #tabbaldwin #jonguichico
7. Jong Uichico
The fabled architect behind San Miguel Beermen’s six championships from 1999 to 2006, multi-awarded coach Uichico now helms TNT Tropang Texters. He would later hand them their Commissioner’s Cup, after defeating rivals Rain or Shine in a best of seven series. Uichico is also the assistant coach of the national basketball team.
8. Enchong Dee
Dee, before being recognized as an actor, had his share of the spotlight as one of La Salle’s champion swimmers. In the UAAP, he led his Alma mater to a gold in the men’s swimming event while securing himself three straight MVP awards up to Season 72. He was also part of the national team. Dee has obviously left the poolside to focus on his showbiz career. It did him well, as he is one of the biggest stars of his generation.