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Wedelfredo Tecson Villareyes, Holy Angel's Star Basketeer in the 1960s

For the Holy Angel College (now Holy Angel University) students in the 1960s, the name Wedelfredo Tecson Villareyes, or Jing or Jinggoy as he is fondly called, is an Angelite's pride. He was a former versatile, hustling basketball player (5'5") of Holy Angel's high school Wildkittens basketball team. He was the "Most Promising Basketball Player" during his high school days.

The HAC Wildkittens showed "sharp field shooting power, slippery keyhole drives, domination of rebounds, fluid steals and an airtight defense." The team joined the APSCOP (Association of Private Schools and Colleges of Pampanga) basketball tournament, with Jing scoring an average of 31 points against the taller basketeers.

The HAC Wildkittens basketball team was the champion in the 1964 South Central Luzon Private Schools Association (SOCLUPSA) athletic competition, thanks to its coach Ramon Navarro and the members of the team. At that time, the team consisted of L. Torres, Robert Bowman, E. Lising, Jun Vega, Diosdado de Leon, Eddie Serrano, T. Bansil, Jun Tanglao, B. Baluyut, captain ball Ernesto Catacutan, Rustico Torres, A. Sagad, and Jing Villareyes.

In college, the HAC Wildcats dominated the basketball arena anew, with wildest Wildcat, Jing Villareyes, who averaged "a 26 points a game shooting spree." They also participated in the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP)-sponsored nationwide basketball game series held in Iloilo, and they represented Central Luzon with flying colors in 1965.

With the HAC High School Class of 1964 Reunion activity on February 9, 2019, to be attended by some 150 alumni who are based in the country and abroad, Jing Villareyes, 73, who is now based in San Francisco, California, USA, is indeed an interesting former Angelite athlete to get a closer look at. He is responsible for the successful first reunion in 1984 of Angelites in Daly City, which is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Born on February 5, 1946 in San Juan, Rizal (now part of Metro Manila) to Esteban Villareyes (whose relative Adelaida Villareyes was a war heroine in Bamban, Tarlac) and Carmen Tecson, Jing reminisces that coach Ramon Navarro encouraged him to play for them despite his short height.

He proved his opponents wrong by displaying his quickness and intelligence inside the court. He became the ladies' favorite who cheered him up as "Love Potion No. 9" (being Player No. 9 on his jersey shirt). He recently donated his two jerseys to the University for the HAU memorabilia under development.

Migrating to the United States, he took an electronics course and later worked at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center for many years. He is happily married to Carmelita and he has three sons.

He remembers having a personal encounter with the basketball legend Michael Jordan. He admits he has been an avid Beatles fan, collects miniature objects, and loves to listen to all types of music.

During his recent birthday, which fell on Chinese New Year, he spent it with some poor kids in Bamban, the place that is close to his heart.

"I hope you can visit its historic places someday," he said with a sweet, wide smile.

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