KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Filipino-Chinese Veterans Basketball Association made a perfect start as the 50-and-above and 65-and-above teams outlasted their rivals in the opening of the 26th ASEAN Veteran Basketball tournament Monday at MABA gym here.
Allan Caidic scored 18 points as the 50s clobbered Miri of host country, 61-37, while the 65s recovered their bearings just in time to pull off a 44-39 win over Hatyai of Thailand.
With only three teams entered in their group—the 65s’ victory virtually assured themselves of a final slot in the annual tournament.
The team backed by Rain or Shine’s Terry Que, Freego’s Eduard Tio, and Ironcon Builders’ Jimi Lim nearly squandered a 12-point third quarter advantage, but leaned on the heroics of Bong dela Cruz, Zotico Tan and William Lao to dodge Hatyai’s upset bid.
“What a start, we almost lost the game,” said coach Edster Sy. “I hope we can do better in our next game.”
Also shining for the team were Sunny Co who drained three triples to finish with 10 points, while Atchit Kaw, Johnson Lao and Johnny Chua also delivered.
The 50s were in control of the game that there was no need for Caidic to play in the pivotal period.
He was already being massaged – particularly his weary legs – when the fourth quarter started.
Equally impressive were speedy Jerry Gonzales, Gerry Tee, Lawrence Chongson, Stephen dela Cruz and Benet Palad.
The 60-and-above team – also being handled by Sy – was playing against Kuching also of host country at presstime.
Backstopped by former La Salle star Kenneth Yap and former PBA star Elmer Reyes, the 60s are going for a three-peat.