UAAP Season 81 Football: Ateneo-La Salle football matches a family affair for Jarvey Gayoso and Coach Alvin Ocampo
Santino Honasan on Apr 05, 2019 12:50 PM
"At the end of the day, we share the same passion, and outside the UAAP, we donít brand each other anything other than family.Ē - Jarvey Gayoso on uncle Alvin Ocampo
Regardless of the sport, Ateneo versus De La Salle matches always mean a little bit more, obviously because of the long-standing rivalry between the two premier universities.
The atmosphere is always a little bit more intense, the competitive spirit is always a bit more magnified, and the crowd is always a bit bigger.
For Jarvey Gayoso and Alvin Ocampo, two key figures in the UAAP Men’s Football Tournament however, the Ateneo-La Salle matchups are more than just a rivalry, but it’s also a family affair.
Gayoso has been the main man for the Ateneo Men’s Football Team for the better part of the last four years, and in Season 81, the fourth-year star striker is again leading the league in scoring while helping his Blue Eagles to the top seed in the tournament.
Ocampo, meanwhile, has been a long-time member of legendary De La Salle Men’s Football head coach Hans Smit’s coaching staff. This season however, Ocampo has been taking on the head coach role with Smit taking a back seat, while still overseeing the program.
Gayoso and Ocampo are more than just opposing members of rival universities. Gayoso and Ocampo are, in fact, nephew and uncle.
Coach Alvin is the younger brother of Jarvey’s mom Pinky, and their father is none other than Filipino sports icon Ed Ocampo, who made the Philippine National Team in both football and basketball.
“Sa family namin, kampi-kampihan eh. Siyempre yung mom ko, kampi sa akin, yung mom [ni Jarvey], kampi sa kanya. Ganyan lang naman yan, given naman yan, pero at the end of the day, family is still family,” Coach Alvin shared.
Ocampo adds that while Jarvey is the star player on the rival school’s team, that doesn't hinder him from playing the role of mentor to his nephew.
“I always tell him kung ano yung kailangan niya i-improve, ito yung kailangan niya gawin. Hindi ko sinasabing gawin niya sa amin yan, pero ito yung mga kailangan niyang matutunan pa.”
“Siyempre, he’s still young, he has the potentials of [international play], international teams are eyeing him also, so sabi ko na ito yung mga kailangan idagdag mo sa artillery mo, hindi pwedeng puro takbo, puro shoot lang. Kailangan ito idagdag mo para maging complete player,” he added.
Ocampo himself knows a thing or two about international competition, having been part of the National Team as well, from 1995 to 2002 and from 2006 to 2007.
Gayoso has already had stints with the Azkals in the previous years, and is being seen as one of the future faces of Philippine football.
As for the age-old rivalry between Ateneo and DLSU, Ocampo - who is a product of De La Salle-Zobel and later on De La Salle University-Manila - it doesn’t get in the way of him hoping the best for his nephew.
“Andito din kami as family to guide him. Itong rivalry, siyempre I don’t support the team, I support him.
Gayoso admits that being able to play against his uncle's team makes for some light-hearted moments within the family, but that doesn't take away the fact that for him, Coach Alvin is more than just the head coach of the opposing team.
“I think it’s fun, there’s a lot of friendly banter that comes with it, but at the end of the day, he’s still an inspiration to me, and I take every lesson that he gives me, and every tip, because beyond the UAAP, we’re still family and we both still share the same passion, so he’s always there to guide me and help me with what I need to work on, and I take it to heart and I take it to my practices, doing what I should be doing, coming from his opinion.”
That doesn't mean, however, that the competitive spirit isn't there.
“It’s fun, of course. Siyempre hindi talaga ako magpapatalo kay Tito, and siyempre hindi din siya magpapa-talo,” Gayoso added.
This year’s season series between Ateneo and DLSU is knotted up at one win apiece, with Ocampo and the Green Archers taking their first round meeting with a 2-1 win, while Gayoso scored a brace to lead his Blue Eagles to a 3-1 win in the second round of action.
While it would be easy for Jarvey to gloat about his spectacular two-goal outing against his uncle's team, the former UAAP MVP says that that’s just not something that he does.
“No, I never do that,” he expressed. “The way I see it is I’m playing for Ateneo and I’m doing my best. Of course, we talk about what I’ve done in our games, me and my Tito, we always talk about what I’ve done.”
“Like a the professional that he is, he looks at the mistakes, he looks at the lapses that I’ve had and he’s always there to correct me,” Gayoso continued.
Being that Coach Alvin comes from the other side of the rivalry, Jarvey is nothing but appreciative of the guidance that he gets from his uncle.
“Definitely, it comes with a lot of pride to give tips, especially since I come from the competition or the rival school. I still appreciate everything that he does, and like I said, at the end of the day, we share the same passion, and outside the UAAP, we don’t brand each other anything other than family.”
Gayoso also shared his happiness in seeing Ocampo get the opportunity to run the DLSU Men’s Football Team, but admits that it poses a challenge, in that it gives the Green Archers an advantage in preparing for him.
“It it also comes with a lot of difficulty because he knows me very well, so that brings a lot of difficulty in the way that I’m supposed to adjust my game, because he’s the one holding on to the team, so much that it’s easy for them to follow his instructions and how to deal with me.”
The season series is done for Ateneo and La Salle this year, but with both teams in the running for the Final Four, it’s quite possible that Jarvey and Coach Alvin and their respective squads run into each other on the football pitch again, this time with even greater stakes involved.