The seniors and masters teams of FAST-D (Filipino American Sports Team of Detroit) emerged champions in the Filipino Basketball Association of North America (FBA-NA) tournament held in Detroit on Sept. 2-3, 2017.
Eleven cities in the United States and Canada competed in the two-day Labor Day weekend tournament held in gymnasiums in Dearborn, Wayne and Livonia, all suburbs of Detroit.
Meanwhile, many sports-minded Filipinos heaped praises on FAST-D officers, particularly Executive Directors Ron Gayta, Lito Apigo and Art Orzame, as well as the hundreds of volunteers, for the smooth conduct of the tournament.
In bagging the championship during the finals game played in Hype Gym in Wayne, FAST-D’s seniors team spearheaded by PBA veterans Rudy Hatfield, Dan Mosley and Jasper Ocampo had an easy time in the first half, scoring three points with regularity and corralling the rebounds against the game Austin-San Antonio (ASA) team. The score after the first half was lopsided, 38-9, in favor of the home team.
The second half opened with Hatfield, who played for 12 seasons in the PBA, immediately scoring three points at the top of the key. But the ASA team, with former NBA, PBA and PBL draftee Sunny Margate leading the offense, staged a comeback and cut the lead to 50-26 after the first 10 minutes.
Guarded by Hatfield, Margate, whose parents are both Filipino-Americans, was unstoppable, scoring three points successively. But the ASA rally fell short as Ocampo provided the clutch points and Mosley grabbing the crucial rebounds for the Detroit team. The final score was 61-44.
Aside from the still sharp skills of Hatfield and Ocampo, the victory was also accredited to the exellent coaching by Bobby Gregoire.
The other members of the champion team were Tony Avecilla, Carl Bolofer, Artie Brown, Arvin Carson, Joseph Hearndon, Denis Licap, Justin Romero, Romeo Salvani, Valentin Solano, Ron Suan and Nate Tuliao.
Meanwhile, at the Franklin High School in Livonia, the masters team coached by Lito Apigo bagged the championship trophy by beating the scrappy Mississauga team, 37-27.
The offense was led by Jay Sejismundo and Edcel Angaray.
Aside from Sejismundo and Angaray, the other FAST-D masters players were Rob Arcilla, Jonas Bernal, Troy Catris, Julito Gener, Francis Harwart, Alex Moratalla, Jeff Palaspas, Joel Pantino, Wilson Rapanut, Bryan Rigor, Tony Saavedra, Dale Sonservacio and Demetrio Timban. Assistant coach was John Dionisio.