THE Filipino-Chinese Veterans Basketball Association reclaimed its 65-above crown in dramatic fashion Saturday, pulling off a 54-50 come-from-behind win in the Asean Veterans Basketball Tournament at the Chiang Mai Sports Complex in Thailand.
Given up for dead after falling behind by 9 points midway in the payoff period, the Fil-Chinese seniors came through with a mighty 16-3 finish to post what could be the most enthralling title win in the tournament.
And credit should go to former PBA player Benjie Poblete, guard Andrew Ongteco and seldom-used Antonio Go who produced one big play after another to help the team clinch the title via a four-game sweep.
Exhausted and all, having been subjected to several physical plays, Poblete completed FCVBA’s remarkable comeback with a go-ahead basket before the team watched a Thai player miss an open 3-point attempt.
FCVBA godfathers Jimi Lim of Ironcon Builders and Terry Que of Rain or Shine and coaches Elmer Reyes and Jerry Gonzales heaved a sigh of relief only when Bong dela Cruz secured the rebound and made a perfect pass on the streaking Zotico Tan for the insurance basket.
“What a win, dumaan kami sa butas ng karayom,” said Que, who was held by Hatyai’s solid defense early on.
“That’s resilience, we did not give up,” said Lim, who was all praises for Poblete who almost singlehandedly carried the fight until Go and Ongteco delivered clutch baskets.