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Chuatico, ex-Ateneo player, passes away

EMILIONonoy” Chuatico, a fine outside shooter who powered Ateneo to its first UAAP men’s basketball crown in 1987, passed away on Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia due to lingering illness.
He was 55.

In his final UAAP season, Chuatico led in ending the Blue Eagles’ nine-year championship wait, as the Katipunan-based dribblers finished the season with a 14-1 record.

Among Chuatico’s teammates were point guards Jun Reyes and Olsen Racela, swingmen Joseph Canlas, Mel Basa and Gene Afable, forwards Jayvee Gayoso, Jet Nieto, Eric Reyes and Albert Mendoza and slotmen Danny Francisco and Alex Araneta.

After beating University of the East in the Finals, Chuatico then capped his collegiate stint with Ateneo by winning the now-defunct National UAAP, beating Cebu’s Southwestern University with a buzzer-beating triple.

Chuatico was inducted into the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

A great teammate and a vocal leader who would always give words of encouragement. I will forever appreciate Noy and his guidance. Rest well, Manong,” said Racela, who is currently the men’s basketball head coach of Far Eastern University.

Following a successful college career, Chuatico served as captain for the Philippine team that regained the gold medal in the 1991 Manila Southeast Asian Games two years after the debacle in Kuala Lumpur.

He was picked in the first round by Ginebra in the 1992 PBA Rookie Draft and 6-foot guard averaged 5.0 points in four seasons before moving to the MBA.