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FCVBA in sweep of ASEAN tourney

Filipino-Chinese Veterans Basketball Association (FCVBA) produced another first yesterday by sweeping all four age categories in the 25th ASEAN Veterans Basketball Tournament (AVBT) yesterday at the Chiang Kai Shek College gym in Tondo.

The 65-above squad of PBA team co-team owner Terry Que, Jimi Lim, Zotico Tan, Bong dela Cruz and William Lao kicked off FCVBA’s juggernaut with a 72-55 win over Kuala Lumpur in the newly-created division of the annual tournament.

Easily the most popular player in the event, Tan, 70, led the team for the second time with 17 points, Que added 11 points and three assists while Ching Ka Lee and Antonio Go chipped in 10 points each in another dominating performance of the Horacio Lim-mentored squad.

The 60-above, 50-above and 40-above squads also swept their divisions with four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio and Allan Caidic leading the 50-above squad in downing Sarawak of Malaysia, 93-59, in the tournament sponsored by Ironcon Builders, Philippine Airlines, Freego Jeans and Rain or Shine.

“It’s another first for the club as we retained our three titles and we won the first staging of the 65-above division,” said Lim, who is the chairman of FCVBA.

While it was Gerry Esplana who led the team with 23 points, it was Patrimonio who sparked the team’s murderous second quarter breakaway as FCVBA took a commanding 45-44 lead.

Patrimonio tallied 14 points and 15 rebounds, Caidic and Benneth Palad added 12 points each – thanks to the 10 assists of Lucio “Bong” Tan.

The Melo Navarro-mentored 60-above team, on the other hand, rode on the stellar performance of former La Salle star Kenneth Yap, Julio Cruz, Johnny Chua, Eduard Tio and Joseph Whang to down Meteor of Malaysia, 72-55.

Yap, who played briefly in the PBA during his prime, produced his first double-double with 24 points and 17 boards while Noli Banate, Cruz and Chua combined for 27 points.