Phenom with pedigree | Inquirer Sports

Phenom with pedigree

Sporting excellence runs in his blood, but Jarvey Gayoso is ready to carve his own niche as the country’s next homegrown football wizard
By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 12:38 AM May 21, 2017
Third-generation athlete Jarvey Gayoso, UAAP champion Ateneo’s league MVP, spots a pass a second ahead of a play and is a dangerous presence in front of goal. The grandson of Mr. Football (1950s) and Mr. Basketball (1960s) Ed Ocampo is a cinch for a spot in the country’s SEA Games side. —John P.Oranga/THE GUIDON

Third-generation athlete Jarvey Gayoso, UAAP champion Ateneo’s league MVP, spots a pass a second ahead of a play and is a dangerous presence in front of goal. The grandson of Mr. Football (1950s) and Mr. Basketball (1960s) Ed Ocampo is a cinch for a spot in the country’s SEA Games side. —John P.Oranga/THE GUIDON

It has been a long day at school for Jarvey Gayoso, but he’s not done yet. On this Friday afternoon, fresh from an exam at the Ateneo campus, he takes the LRT from Katipunan in Quezon City to Vito Cruz in Manila for the national Under-22 team’s training at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

He may be racing against time, but there’s hardly a hint of panic in the young man, much like the calmness he shows when he’s in front of the goal—he found the back of the net 12 times for Ateneo in the men’s football tournament of UAAP Season 79.

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Standing six feet, Gayoso—a third-generation athlete—is nimble and slippery, wiggling out of tight spaces without losing possession. He runs like a gazelle and spots a pass a second ahead of a play.

“If I had a teammate like Jarvey (up front), I would love to give long balls to him,” says uncle and former national team defender Alvin Ocampo. “When he sees the space, he will run to it and finish off the play.”

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Jarvey has always played at a level beyond his years, but it wasn’t until early this month when he finally lifted the first major trophy of his career— the UAAP men’s football crown. It also capped a sensational season that saw him collect best striker and Most Valuable Player honors.

“It’s a bit overwhelming because I’ve been trying to give Ateneo a championship for the past five years,” says Jarvey.

He got plenty of help from teammates and was guided by a brilliant young coach in JP Merida, but there was no denying Jarvey’s prodigious talents in the tournament, where he scored his team’s last three goals en route to the school’s first championship since 2013.

Sporting excellence runs in Jarvey’s blood. His grandfather, Ed Ocampo, is a former Mr. Football in the 1950s and Mr. Basketball in the 1960s. Jarvey’s father, Jayvee, is a former Ateneo basketball star who became a solid rotation player in the PBA’s most popular team, Ginebra, in the 1990s.

Jayvee retired from the PBA in the same year Jarvey was born, 2001. Jarvey’s uncle, the younger brother of his mom Pinky, Alvin Ocampo, played for the national men’s football team while another uncle, Eddie Boy, also played varsity ball. Jayvee’s older brother, Mike, suited up for Ateneo’s basketball team.

“People say he runs like his uncle Eddie Boy, and the way he turns and accelerates was the same way my brother Mike used to do it,” Jayvee says. “It’s like combining the athletic abilities of two athletes in one person.”

“Of course, I’ve heard stories of how great my relatives are,” Jarvey says. “But I also have an opportunity to show them what I’m capable of and what’s expected of me. I don’t see it as an added pressure, but more of an inspiration to do better.”

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Jarvey, the second of four siblings, says he’d like to carve a niche of his own, not necessarily in sports. “Right now, I’m trying to balance my football and academics,” says the BS management sophomore. “I want to represent the country, but it comes side by side with my goal of getting a degree.”

Jarvey is already part of the pool of the Under-22 side that will see action in the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia in August.

Jayvee says he trusts his son to take his academics seriously. “I like his discipline in his education,” the father says. “He rushes to class from training and finds time to study. He’s very diligent. That type of maturity is something that I truly admire, more than just his involvement in sports.”

Jayvee says that more than his son’s skills, it is his vision that makes him stand out in the football field.

“What I admire about him is his peripheral vision,” says Jayvee. “I’ve never talked to him about this, but it’s the most noticeable aspect of his game that I’ve seen.”

Jarvey says his immediate goal is to bring honor to the country in the SEA Games. “I plan to keep playing a high standard of football,” he says. “I want to make a name for myself and I want to extend the family’s excellence in football.”

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TAGS: Jarvey Gayoso, men's football tournament, uaap season 79
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