YCO Painters

The YCO Painters were the multi-titled Filipino basketball team of the YCO Athletic Club that was active from the late 1940s to 1981 in the now-defunct Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA). YCO Athletic Club was founded by businessman and sportsman Manuel “Manolo” Elizalde and owned under his company Elizalde & Co., Inc., manufacturers of YCO floor wax and paints.

YCO Athletic Club
Founded(late 1940s)
Historylate 1940s-1981
Team colorsRed, green and white
PresidentManuel “Manolo” Elizalde
Head coachLeo Prieto
Valentin "Tito" Eduque
Carlos Loyzaga
Ed Ocampo
Freddie Webb
ChampionshipsMICAA (partial list):
1954, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1963, 1975, 1979
National Open (partial list):
1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1967, 1977, 1978, 1979

The Painters were known as the first basketball dynasty in the Philippines, having dominated MICAA and BAP tournaments during the 1950s to early 1960s. The team’s most famous player was Carlos Loyzaga, considered as the greatest Filipino basketball player of his time. It made basketball history by winning seven consecutive National Open championships (1954-1960), seven MICAA titles and the first grandslam in Philippine basketball (1954), when the Painters wrapped the National Open, MICAA and Challenge to Champions diadems, including winning 95 out of 109 games.

When Elizalde & Co., Inc. became one of nine companies that formed the professional Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in 1975, the YCO franchise was retained in the amateur ranks and elevated most of its YCO players to their professional PBA franchise, named Tanduay.

The YCO franchise ended with the closure of the MICAA in 1982.

Rivalry with Ysmael Steel Admirals

The Painters were best remembered for its rivalry with the Ysmael Steel Admirals from 1958 to 1967. The Painters and the Admirals would split the MICAA championships in the first four years of the 1960s playing against each other, The Painters won in 1960 and 1963 and the Admirals in 1961-1962.

During the 1961 MICAA finals, with the best-of-three series tied at 1-1, YCO defaulted the game for refusing to play in the final game at the Araneta Coliseum and the Admirals were declared champions.

The detailed results of this historical rivalry was included in Jose Maria Bonifacio Escoda's 400-page Basketball History: Philippines as follows : The results of the Yco–Ysmael Rivalry (compiled by the author from Manila Bulletin). This remains the first and only published summary of the rivalry between Yco and Ysmael teams. This not include their encounters in the exclude those from 1958-59 where Yco defeated Ysmael in the National Seniors in the 1958 and 1959 National Seniors and Challenge to Champions. Ysmael, Ysmael who won their first MICAA in 1958 eliminated Yco. Yco, who placed second to Chelsea in 1959 MICAA eliminated Ysmael. Yco Painters versus Ysmael Steel Admirals

           1960 -67  

MICAA Champions National Seniors Champions

1958 Ysmael (Yco 3rd) Yco 1959 Yco ( 2nd Ysmael 3rd) Yco (UE 2nd ) 1960 Yco (Ysmael 2nd) Yco (Ysmael 2nd) 1961 Ysmael (Yco 2nd) Ysmael (Yco 2nd) 1962 Ysmael (Yco 2nd) Ysmael (Yco 2nd) 1963 Yco (Ysmael 2nd) Ysmael (Yco 2nd) 1964 Yco (Ysmael 2nd) Ysmael ( Yco 2nd) 1965 Ysmael (Yco 3rd ) Ysmael (Yco 2nd)

                       (Crispa 2nd  

1966 Ysmael(Yco 2nd) Ysmael (Yco 2nd) 1967 Yamael(Puyat Steel 2nd) Yco (Ysmael 3rd,place,Puyat Steel2nd )

            (Yco 3rd )           

Ysmael disbanded after winning the 1967 MICAA crown.

Note: Yco was weakened by the unexpected retirement of Achacoso and transfer of Kurt Bachmann to Ysmael Steel in 1961 and later by the retirement of Loyzaga and other players by April 1964. Despite hiring an American import for the first time placed second to its archrival in MICAA and National Seniors.


From 1986 to 1987, a new YCO franchise briefly emerged to play in the Phililippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL), called the YCO Shine Masters. The franchise was short-lived due to the financial difficulties faced by its parent, Elizalde & Co., Inc.

Notable players

See also


  • "MICAA in the Sixties". Sports Potpourri.
  • "Philippine Basketball in Review". Charly's blog.
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