On August 2010, Pinoys in and around Peterborough witnessed the start of a sporting event closest to their heart, the first Pinoy basketball tournament in the city. The games were organised by Filcop through the prodding of its male members looking for a fun activity on weekends after working hard for five days.
The tournament also served as a meeting place for friends and families and likewise as a means of informing the world that there is an expanding Filipino organisation in this part of the UK.
A total of four teams battled it out for the top prize, which was eventually won by Orton-Bretton Jamaicans mentored by Will Obanil over the Edwin Lagumbay managed Ramsey HC.
Third place was snatched by Westwood-West Town headed by their playing coach, Bethel Pascual. The team of Ravensthorpe, which was coached by Bong Meriales and skippered by Jay Palacpac came at the tailend, as the problem of assembling a fighting five unit caught up with them just after the first game.
During the tournament, we witnessed the talent and skills of Ephraim Cerezo, the league’s scoring champion; the kamikaze-like slashing moves of Glen Baluran, Jay Palacpac and Joshua Cerezo; and the stone hard defense of Christopher Olano, Harvey Lamprea and Roldan Dino.
In the games you cannot escape from the intimidating presence of Max Portugal and Alan Paule, be awed by the elegant shots of Roel Albano and Jerico Flores, be impressed by the leadership on the court by Dom Panganiban and the raw skills of Aaron Barcinal, Jyro Nacario and the first 3-point shootout king, Paulo Abing.
Although the Orton-Bretton Jamaicans emerged victorious in this tournament, it cannot be denied that the real winners are the members of the Filipino community in Peterborough who are now clamouring for a follow up tourney. So, our hats off to Filcop officers led by its chairman Celso Valmonte, to the games officer-in-charge Richard Elefante, and to the referees William Figuracion and Joseph Barlaan for making this tournament a big success.
To the champions, our warmest congratulations! And to the losers, here are a few words from young Ravensthorpe supporters Cean and John Paul Sisican to give you comfort: “It’s not the winning that is important, it is all about having fun.”
So, see you in the next tournament? (Arnold Hidalgo)