AND then they were two.
Nestor Sapida apparently is not the only player from the first National University team that won the 1954 UAAP men’s basketball championship who is still alive.
A certain Mariano Ordonez recently emerged and disclosed that he was a teammate of Sapida in the team that won the school’s maiden league title 60 years ago.
An NU official said the school received a call from Ordonez himself shortly after the Bulldogs were crowned as champions of UAAP Season 77 following their victory over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws last week.
“He called my father and said he was part of the 1954 team. Buhay pa siya,” said Nilo Ocampo, NU’s representative to the league board.
Ocampo admitted having little background on Ordonez other than him being currently a dentist and based in Los Angeles.
Sapida was earlier reported as the lone remnant of NU’s first ever UAAP championship team and was actually at ringside when the Bulldogs finally ended a six-decade title drought.
That was until Ordonez surfaced.
Indeed, there was a player named M. Ordonez in Sapida’s collection of clippings from the 1954 NU champion team that was the school’s first and lone title until this current batch of Bulldogs won it all last week.
The discovery should serve as good news to Sapida, who related he doesn’t know if his former teammates are still alive.
Sapida’s daughter Cecil also related in an interview her family is hoping the recent publicity generated by his father will allow families of his former teammates to reach out and arrange a get-together among themselves.