Atoy Co

Fortunato "Atoy" Gan Co Jr. (born October 15, 1951) is a Filipino actor and basketball coach. He is a former politician and a retired professional basketball player who played 13 seasons in the Philippine Basketball Association, mostly with Crispa Redmanizers. Nicknamed "The Fortune Cookie" (a pun on his name and ethnicity) during his playing days, he was notable for his trademark turnaround fadeaway jump shot.[1]

Fortunato G. Co Jr.
Atoy Co Coors Light NBA Pop-A-Shot Tour.jpg
Personal information
Born (1951-10-15) October 15, 1951 (age 69)
Pasig, Rizal, Philippines
NationalityFilipino
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight168 lb (76 kg)
Career information
CollegeMapúa Institute of Technology
Playing career1975–1988
Coaching career1989–1991, 2012–present
Career history
As player:
1972–1984Crispa Redmanizers
1985–1986Manila Beer Brewmasters
1987–1988Great Taste/Presto Ice Cream
As coach:
1989–1991Crispa 400 (PBL)
2012-2018Mapua Cardinals (NCAA)
Career highlights and awards
As player:
  • PBA Hall of Fame Class of 2005
  • PBA's 25 Greatest Players
  • PBA Mythical First Team (1975–1977, 1979–1984)
  • Top 10: Scoring Average
  • Top 25: 3-Point Percentage
  • Top 25: Free Throw Percentage
  • 4x Season Champion: Total Points
  • Season Champion: Scoring Average
  • 2x Season Champion: 3-Points Made
  • 3x Season Champion: 2-Points Made

As head coach:
Championships (2):
*1990 PBL Challenge Cup (Crispa 400)
*1991 PBL Maharlika Cup (Crispa 400)
As commissioner:

  • 1st commissioner of the UNTV Cup (2013–present)

Early lifeEdit

Co was born on October 15, 1951 in Pasig, then part of Rizal province. His parents were Fortunato Co, Sr. and Ana Gan.

Collegiate and amateur careerEdit

Co joined the Mapúa Cardinals in 1970 and played for the Mapúa team for three years. He was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) during his first two years.[2] He also brought his wares with the old Crispa team in the MICAA.

Professional careerEdit

Co first played in the PBA on April 22, 1975, scoring 34 points and leading Crispa to a 113-102 win over CFC, the team's first victory after starting the season with three (3) straight defeats.

During his PBA stint, he played for the two-time grand slam champion Crispa Redmanizers from 1975 to 1984, with him as one of the team's top scorers. In 1976, he received the All-Filipino Sports Award for Basketball.

He was part of the fabled Crispa ballclub that won two Grand Slams, in 1976 and 1983. He won the Most Valuable Player award in 1979 and was a 9-time Mythical First Team Member.

In 1979, he was the first player to score 5,000 points, and in 1984, he also became the first player to score 10,000 points in PBA history. After his stint with Crispa, he then suited up for Manila Beer (1985-1986) and Great Taste (1987-1988).

He ended his career as the PBA's No. 4 in All-Time Scoring with 12,994 points behind Ramon Fernandez, Abet Guidaben and Alvin Patrimonio. He was also career 78.6% free-throw shooter, having converted 1549 out of 1970 free-throw attempts and dished off 2,640 assists (3.5 assists per game) in a total of 749 games in 24395:05 minutes.

In 2000, he was named as one of the 25 Greatest Players in PBA History in an elaborate awards ceremonies that highlighted the 25th anniversary of the league.

In 2003, he took part in the Crispa-Toyota Reunion Game that kick-started the PBA's 2003 All-Star Weekend.

In 2005, he played for the Baby Dalupan-coached TM PBA Legends that defeated the TM PBA Greats, 96-92, in an exhibition match as the featured event of the league's 30th anniversary festivities. The two (2) teams were made up of the 25 Greatest Players that were chosen by coaches Dalupan and Robert Jaworski. Later that same year, Co was part of the twelve (12) initial inductees to the PBA Hall of Fame alongside fellow Crispa players Bogs Adornado and Philip Cezar, and Toyota stalwarts Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz and Fernandez together with former PBA Commissioners Leo Prieto, Emerson Coseteng and Rudy Salud as well as legendary Crispa coach and team manager, respectively, Dalupan and Danny Floro, and the late anchorman Joe Cantada.

Post-PBA careerEdit

Acting careerEdit

Co ventured into television and films after his playing days were over, first as a co-host for the noontime show Student Canteen over at RPN (now Solar TV), and started alongside action stars like Phillip Salvador in films such as Delima Gang in 1989. He made a career mostly out of playing supporting roles in films and television series.

Politics and other interestsEdit

Co became a politician when he served as a long-time city councilor of Pasig City from 1998 to 2007.[3] In 2010, he ran again as councilor and was successful in his reelection bid.[4]

He also operated a sports bar named Atoy's at Metrowalk, Pasig City.[5]

Coaching careerEdit

In 1989, Co became the coach of the Crispa 400 in the PABL, leading the team to two titles in 1990 and 1991.

He served as the head coach of his alma mater, the Mapúa Cardinals, from 2012 to 2018.[6][7]

Commissioning careerEdit

In 2013, Co became the first commissioner of the UNTV Cup, which is the first charity basketball league dedicated for public servants in the Philippines, an original concept by "Mr. Public Service" Daniel Razon.[8]

Coaching recordEdit

Collegiate recordEdit

Season Team Eliminations Playoffs
W L PCT Finish PG W L PCT Results
2013 MIT 2 16 .111 10th Did not qualify.
2014 MIT 4 14 .111 10th Did not qualify.
2015 MIT 12 6 .667 3rd 3 2 1 .667 Won over JRU in the 3rd-seed playoff, Lost to Letran in the Semifinals.
2016 MIT 12 6 .667 3rd 0 0 1 .000 Lost to Arellano in the Semifinals.
2017 MIT 3 15 .167 10th Did not qualify.
2018 MIT 6 12 .333 7th Did not qualify.
Totals 39 69 .361 4 2 2 .500 0 championships

TriviaEdit

  • During his PBA career, the name on the back of his jersey was always written as "F. Co Jr." (sometimes, "Co Jr.").
  • Co wore jersey #60 during his final seasons with Great Taste, due to the use of the #6 jersey by teammate and former Toyota rival Abe King. When King left the team, Co reverted to #6, and when King re-signed, he wore #1. This was during the Great Taste Milk incarnation of the team.

QuotesEdit

  • from Norman Black, retired import and current head coach of the Meralco Bolts in the PBA - "How many players do you see go on a fastbreak with the lane wide open, stop and take a jumper? Atoy did that a lot. And the thing that amazed me was that he made his jump shots as if he were making lay-ups."
  • from Rudy Salud, former PBA Commissioner - "Sweet-shooting. He would hit shots that many coaches would say, 'No, no, no . . . . good!'"
  • from Tommy Manotoc, former coach at Crispa - "A pure talent. Naging movie star lang masyado. (He just became too much of a movie star) Offensive-wise, what you've seen with Michael Jordan, Atoy Co already had back then. He was the first off-guard to introduce the various ways to shoot. Noong araw, bago ka tumira, dapat naka-set ka, nakaharap ka sa basket. Si Atoy, nakatalikod man o naka-baliktad ang paa, tumitira. (Back then, before you shoot you had to be set for the shot facing the basket. Atoy could shoot the ball even if he wasn't facing the basket or even if his feet were inverted) To me, he innovated offensive basketball. The moves, the ballet, siya ang nag-umpisa (he started it all)."
  • from Shin Dong-pa, legendary Korean shooter - on forgotten basketball moves - "Basketball has become too scientific because of the NBA. In our time, many Asians can shoot on either leg. In the Philippines today, only Johnny Abarrientos can do that as I understand he was a former dancer. So goes with Atoy Co."

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Velasco, Bill. "Atoy's stories". www.philstar.com. Philippine Star. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Atoy Co is Mapúa Cardinals' new head coach". mapua.edu.ph/. Mapua Institute of Technology. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  3. ^ Gorospe, Marjorie. "Life after PBA for the "Fortune Cookie"". www.inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 5 January 2015.
  4. ^ Joble, Rey. "Guiao, 5 other sports celebs headed for victory in political bids". www.gmanetwork.com. GMA News. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  5. ^ Henson, Joaquin. "Atoy rebuilds Mapua for future". www.philstar.com. Philippine Star. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  6. ^ Payo, Jasmine. "Cards set to name Atoy Co as mentor". www.inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  7. ^ "NCAA: Mapua moving on from head coach Atoy Co". ABS-CBN News. 9 November 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  8. ^ "UNTV Cup Season 6 kicks off". UNTVweb.com. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2018.