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    FCVBA regains Asean Veterans title after great comeback vs Thais

    Nov 3, 2019

    Filipino-Chinese Veterans Basketball Association (FCVBA) reclaimed its 65-and-above crown in dramatic fashion, pulling off a 54-50 come-from-behind win over host Thailand in the ASEAN Veterans Basketball Tournament at Indoor Stadium 3 of Chiang Mai Sports Complex in Chiang Mai.

    Given up for dead after falling behind by 9 points midway through 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 clinch the title via a four-game sweep.

    Exhausted while enduring a number of 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 to the streaking Zotico Tan for the insurance basket.

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    “What a win it was, dumaan kami sa butas ng karayom,” said Que, who was held scoreless this time in the face of Hatyai’s solid defense early on.

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    “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.

    The 6-foot-3 Poblete, who played for four years in the PBA, erupted for 27 points, including a 3-point play that cut Hatyai’s lead down to two before Ongteco nailed a side jumper to tie the count at 50-all.

    But the biggest revelation for FCVBA was Go, who fueled the team’s comeback by scoring three of his eight points in the crunch. Ongteco added six points.

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