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Caidic sparks FCVBA

By REY LACHICA

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Allan Caidic was already being massaged, particularly his weary legs, when the fourth quarter started.

That was understandable.

After playing for almost three quarters and scoring 18 points, highlighted by two booming triples, the gunslinger from Paete, Laguna was no longer needed as the 50-years-and-above of the Filipino-Chinese Veterans Basketball Association (FCVBA) built massive lead going into the pivotal period.

The team’s second unit also rose to the challenge as the 50s cruised to a 61-37 win over Miri of host country at the start of the 26th ASEAN Veteran Basketball tournament yesterday at the MABA gym here.

Limping and all – no thanks to age factor – the former University of the East hotshot made the team’s first eight points spiked by a huge three that practically set the tone for the team’s auspicious start in the annual tournament.

Oddly, Caidic, 53, got a huge help from a former arch-enemy in Benet Palad.

The former University of Santo Tomas star who figured in memorable shootouts with Caidic during their celebrated UAAP years in the 80s provided not only the needed firepower but also the strength down low as the Fil-Chinese seniors dominated their rivals.

Also shining offensively for FCVBA were speedy Jerry Gonzalez, Gerry Tee, Joey Sta. Maria, Stephen dela Cruz and Lawerence Chongson.

The 65 squad made it a double celebration for the association backed by Rain or Shine’s Terry Que, Freego’s Eduard Tio, Philippine Airlines’ Bong Tan, Ironcon Builders’ Jimi Lim and Johnny Chua when it outlasted Hatyai of Thailand, 44-39.

The win – thanks to the heroics of Zotico Tan, William Lao and former Crispa enforcer Bong dela Cruz – practically shoved FCVBA to the final as only three teams are entered in the division. Host Kuala Lumpur is the third team.

The 60-and-above team – also being handled by Edster Sy – was playing against Kuching at presstime.

Backstopped by former La Salle star Kenneth Yap and former PBA star Elmer Reyes, the 60s are going for a three-peat.

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