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COACH CANDASO RECOGNIZED

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By Robert Balajadia

Coach Candaso spoke to the students of Oceanview and let them know they too has what it takes to win at a high level. (GSPN photo)

Coach Candaso spoke to the students of Oceanview and let them know they too have what it takes to win at a high level. (GSPN photo)

Only one team on Guam has ever won the Boys Basketball Far East Tournament, which was the Oceanview Knights back in 1993 when it was still a high school. As big as the players were on the team, one man was at the helm making it all work. On Friday December 20 after 20 years of still being the only team to accomplish that feat, the school and some of the 1993 Tournament team gathered to honor that man.

Coach Felipe Candaso does not consider himself an emotional guy, but the emotion showed during the award ceremony as Senator Tommy Morrison and some members of the team gathered to honor Coach Candaso.

“It was real emotional for me because now I am being recognized. All these years, I’ve always just been the facilitator, but 20 years later these same kids come back and awarded me something that I’ve done for them which was just second hand nature for me because I was a school teacher,” said Candaso upon receiving the award.

The kids at Oceanview responded well to the words of encouragement from Senator Morrison and coach Candaso. (GSPN photo)

The kids at Oceanview responded well to the words of encouragement from Senator Morrison and Coach Candaso. (GSPN photo)

The entire Oceanview Middle School student body lined up in pep-rally form ready to honor Coach Candaso as Senator Morrison opened up the ceremony. One of the major points Senator Morrison pointed out was how Coach Candaso kept all the players in line and away from doing drugs or getting involved with the wrong people.

“Sports is one way of getting kids involved in something that they like to do and not so much around. I’ve told them that the locker room is their home and my office is their second home. If they need anything or want to talk about anything I’m available 24/7 for them.”

Candaso spoke about Senator Morrison in particular saying that the two have had many one-on-one conversations.

Senator Tommy Morrison adresses the kids in his opening remarks. (GSPN photo)

Senator Tommy Morrison adresses the kids in his opening remarks. (GSPN photo)

“[Morrison] was actually one of my more belligerent guys, but look at where he is today!” said Candaso.

20 years is a long time, but the tournament win still runs fresh in Candaso’s mind.

“It feels almost like yesterday. This thing happening today brought back all the memories. I’ve spoken to all the other coaches and they say they’ve been trying for 20 years proving it’s not that easy. I give all the credit to the players. The team chemistry was so great and they could do anything out on the floor and that’s what I like about them.”

To get the complete story on how the 1993 Far East Tournament was won check out Patrick Lujan’s story on the OHS Knights: 1993 Far East Champs.

Coach Candaso poses with some of his former players and members of the Southern High School administration, where the 1993 trophy will now reside. (GSPN photo)

Coach Candaso poses with some of his former players and members of the Southern High School administration, where the 1993 trophy will now reside. (GSPN photo)

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