The Father of Ateneo Basketball

Father Dacanay is a regular fixture at Ateneo games (Photo courtesy of

What do Theology and the UAAP have in common? Two words: Father Dacanay.

If you're a regular at the games and you notice a Jesuit seated in patron checking a bunch of quiz papers, that is Father Dacanay.

One of the legendary professors in the Ateneo, Father Dacanay is part of the Ateneo experience. Every year, students take on the challenge enrolling in his TH131 class. If you've been privileged enough to take his class, apart from the theology teachings, you would know the value of memorizing UAAP tidbits that'll help boost the quiz component of your grade. The occasional bonus question about the UAAP is equivalent to one perfect quiz and being one of his students last year, I was always desperate to get it right.

As I waited outside  for my turn to sit down with Father Dacanay, I couldn't help but feel relieved that I was going to talk to him about basketball and not a thesis statement.

Whose jersey are you wearing this season?

Father Dacanay: This season I'm wearing Ryan (Buenafe).

Do you switch jerseys or is it Ryan all throughout the season?

FD: Sometimes Ryan. Last season, I was wearing Emman (Monfort) and Nico (Salva). The year before, it was Ryan and the year before that was Nonoy (Baclao).

Some Jesuits are known for their certain hobbies and for you it's UAAP basketball. I mean, you don't see other priests watch the games as often as you do. So why basketball?

FD: I think it's an exciting game. This doesn't sound very nice, but it's a game where we're playing well so it's nice to watch.

Why do you choose to check papers during the games?

FD: There are slot times. I mean, what do you do? People go out and eat. I don't like to eat during games. I usually finish one class a game.

People joke around that you're more lenient in grading when the team is doing well…

FD: No, that's not true. I don't know how they can tell.

Apart from basketball, what else do you follow?

FD: In the second semester, I watch volleyball. But not as faithfully because classes are heavier during the second sem.

Any predictions for this season?

FD: I think the final four will be NU, FEU, La Salle and Ateneo. Adamson and UST could also make it.

If Ateneo makes it to the finals, who do you want to face in the finals?

FD: Of course, we always want to face La Salle. That always makes it exciting.

Do you have any favorite players from other teams?

FD: Of course not! There are people I like, from FEU I like Escota. He's not swapang, he's not mayabang. In UST, I used to like Camus.

If you were to give tips to your students on the UAAP bonus questions…

FD: They have to watch. You do not get it by reading the stat sheet or reading the report in the newspaper. And why do I do that? It's part of the Ateneo culture. In first year, introduction to Ateneo culture, that's part of it. If I were a volleyball fan, I suppose I'd talk about volleyball.

Any last words to your students?

FD: They should go and watch, go and cheer for the team. Go and watch and cheer wildly!

So for all those students who are currently taking TH131 under Father Dacanay or for those who plan to, here are my five tips on how to nail that bonus question! And if you don't watch the UAAP, it might be time for you start!

My five tips:

  1. Always take note whose jersey Father Dacanay wears to a game.
  2. Remember the final score, top 3 scorers and the player of the game.
  3. If there was a fantastic play during a game, take note of who made it happen.
  4. Take note who from the other team gave Ateneo a hard time.

When in doubt, put Ryan Buenafe. Haha!

Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed in this post.

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