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The 65-above team of the Filipino-Chinese Veterans Basketball Association (FCVBA) became the first squad to reach the final by beating Hatyai of Thailand, 59-37, to complete a two-game sweep of their group elims in the 25th ASEAN Veterans Basketball Tournament yesterday at the YMCA gym in Binondo.
The most senior squad in the tournament hardly encountered trouble this time as Rain or Shine co-team owner Terry Que and Ironcon Builders owner Jimi Lim finally stepped up with the former scattering 21 points aside from dishing off five assists.
He was ably supported by MICAA veteran Zotico Tan and Lim, who chipped in 10 and 8 points, respectively, as FCVBA topped its division.
Led by former Crispa center Noli Banate and Julio Cruz, FCVBA’s 60-above scored a 50-27 win over Hatyai of Thailand while Allan Caidic and Bong Tan led the 50-above to a 77-49 drubbing of Meteor of Indonesia in the event sponsored by Freego Jeans, Philippine Airlines, Ironcon Builders and Rain or Shine.
Atoning for a so-so showing in the team’s 42-25 win over Sarawak of Malaysia last Monday, the 6-foot-5 Banate tallied 10 points and eight boards this time to win the Freego Player of the Game award.
Cruz led the team in scoring for the second straight game with 12 points while Jose Lao chipped in 9 markers for the Melo Navarro-mentored squad. Eduard Tio, Kenneth Yap and Conrad Siy added four points each aside from providing defensive muscle in the shaded lane.
Aside from exploding for 22 points spiked by five triples, Tan also registered a game-high seven assists – most of them benefited Allan Caidic who added 18 points.
Gerry Tee, an executive of Tanduay, also waxed hot with 16 markers while Jerry Codiñera and Benneth Palad combined for 10 points and 18 boards.