INTERVIEW: Chrissy D. Icamina
PHOTOGRAPHY: Ocs Alvarez
San Beda Red Lions, 1975-1978
Were you a Bedan all your life?
I already joined the NCAA when I was in San Beda high school. I studied in San Beda in high school and college, where I got my exposure in the NCAA. Pero yung grade school ko, sa Ateneo, ha ha! Ako yung Atenistang binigay sa San Beda—dahil kasi ngayon lahat ng Bedista kinukuha ng Ateneo, ha ha!
An Atenean! Weren’t the Eagles your fiercest rivals during your time?
In the NCAA we were playing against Ateneo and most of the guys in the Ateneo team were my batch in grade school. Steve Watson was my batch and some were just a year ahead or lower than me but I knew them by name and by face, so it was also hard competing against them. But I’d always say na it’s a sport so we really have to do our best and that it’s nothing personal, we just show the skills that we have and perform the best that we can.
You’re credited for hampering an Ateneo grand slam. How’d you do it?
That wasn’t really our goal. It just happened; we didn’t just set a goal na “let’s stop their run.” Our goal, really, was just to win—even the previous year when Ateneo won against us. So when we didn’t make it that year, we said, let’s try it again next year. It was just unfortunate for Ateneo that they were going for their third-straight championship. And we just beat them to it.
To whom do you attribute your success as a Red Lion?
[My mentor would be] my dad [Caloy Loyzaga], of course, who’s been my mentor ever since. There’s Loreto Carbonel, who helped me in college and there’s Ato Badolato who molded me in my high school years.
How’s it like having a legendary baller for a dad?
In my initial years playing competitive basketball, medyo mahirap—even to my brothers—to play under the shadows of your father because you’re always compared to him. But we outgrew it, through our father’s guidance, too. We learned to cope and accept it. So whenever we’re asked how we compare ourselves to our dad, we always used to say that our dad was an icon and a legend during his generation—but his generation is very different from ours.