Winnipeg teams bring home gold and silver from FBA-NA championships
FBA Winnipeg deployed a massive delegation of athletes, coaches, committee members, directors, families and friends to represent our city at the annual Intercity Filipino Basketball Association of North America (FBA-NA) tournament in Detroit, Michigan over the Labour Day weekend. The FBA Winnipeg contingent filled two team buses, while others flew in or drove 24 hours south of the border to attend the event.
Winnipeg fielded 12 divisions ranging from the Mosquitoes (co-ed 2008/09) to the Masters (1974 and up) among nearly 100 teams from across the US and Canada to compete for basketball glory, bragging rights and gold. The Winnipeg teams got their fair share of that, bringing home two gold medals and five silver.
The weekend started off on a good note at the opening ceremonies when Winnipeg’s own Patricia Mae Ocampo was crowned Miss FBA-NA 2017. This is the second year in a row that a Winnipeg beauty has been won the honour. And after the first day of competition, most of Winnipeg’s teams were also doing well with 2-0 records.
Our 6-foot & Under Open Division, coached by Leo Sadiua, was the dominant team. They went through the tournament undefeated and won their first ever championship gold. Congratulations to the team and to MVP winner, Chris Demeulon Bartolay.
The Tykes Division (2006/07) under coaches Arsenio dela Cruz and Jomar Guaring was also an impressive team, winning games by over 30 points. They faced the tough team of Chicago for Winnipeg’s first of two championships. Congratulations to John Mallari who won the MVP award.
Our Men’s Open Division, with coach Rob Adelantar, went four and one, losing to Toronto by only two points in a buzzer-beater, taking home the silver.
Mosquito Divison (co-ed 2008/09), coached by Mike Ragasa and John Medina, made it to the finals for the second time. They lost to a much bigger team from Durham but took home silver.
The Peewee Division (2004/05) under Coach Jomar Guaring and Coach Randy Caparas was also a very strong team, amazing the crowd with their skills. The Bolingbrook team won the gold, however, and our PeeWees took the silver.
The Bantam Girls (2002 and younger) with Coach Ron Balingit couldn’t get passed a very strong Missassauga Team in the finals. Winnipeg took the silver and they promise to be back stronger next year.
The Junior Boys (2000/01) team, coached by Ruel Maranan, Romel Dimaunahan, and Ric Guerra, was also in the finals. Shawn Maranan suffered a cramp early in the second half and could not recover. The other boys soldiered on but came up a little short. They took home the silver for their efforts.
After starting out with 3-0 record, our Ladies Open Division with Coach Arsenio dela Cruz lost to Missassauga in the semi-final, but the girls played really well this year.
Our Seniors Team under Coach Alvin Mansilungan also had a good start with a 3-0 record but they came up short against Austin San Antonio Team in the semifinal.
The Bantam Boys, coached by Eldrin Gelli and Jason Masangkay, did really well also with a 2-2 record losing to Chicago in the semi finals.
The Juvenile Boys under Coach Iggy Grenivsky battled hard only to lose in the semi-final against Austin San Antonio Team.
Our Masters Div struggled in the first game and lost by over 10 points to Detroit, who went on to become the champions of the tournament.
Manny Arañez thanks all the volunteer coaches of Team Winnipeg, as well as friends and supporters such as Jun Urbano, Gil & Alice Salunga of Maples Insurance, Rhomy Muñoz of Muñoz Silk Screen Printing, Randy Viray of Randy Viray Financial Services, Loreto Opinga of Loralee Apparel, and especially, all the PBA committee members.
Team Winnipeg is now looking forward to next year's tournament in Montreal and a chance to defend their titles as well as another shot at bringing home more gold.
– From reports by Manny Arañez, Arsenio dela Cruz & Ron Balingit