Johnny Chua, Sonny Co, and Conrad Siy delivered key baskets down the stretch as 65s of the Filipino-Chinese Veterans Basketball Association (FCVBA) downed Miri, Malaysia, 42-37, to sweep their group elims in the 27th Asean Basketball Veterans Tournament Wednesday at the Prince Songkla University gym in Hat Yai, Thailand.
After struggling in the first three quarters, Co found the right time to redeem himself as he buried a huge three-point shot to tie count at 37-all then Chua split his pressure-packed charities before Siy hit a putback for a 40-37 lead.
Chua, who finished with 13 points, finally sealed the deal with a courageous basket down low with barely 12 ticks left.
“It was a tough win,” said Terry Que of Rain or Shine, who bankrolled FCVBA’s participation in the annual tournament along with Freego’s Eduard Tio and Ironcon Builders boss Jimi Lim.
Siy led all FCVBA scorers with 16 points while former Crispa enforcer Bong dela Cruz and James Chua provided the intangibles.
In the semis, the 65s will face Group B second placer Sarawak – another team from Malaysia – on Thursday.
The thrilling win of the 65s overshadowed the 60s’ 58-38 thumping of Miri.
Unlike in their first two games where former Philippine team standout Elmer Reyes and ex-La Salle star Kenneth Yap dominated the show, the 65s got solid contributions this time from Danny Ching, Aries Franco, Jose Lao, Andrew Ongteco, Elmer Latotio and Ramon Mabanta.
“We moved the ball pretty well this time and everybody stepped up,” said playing-coach Eduard Tio.