By Robert Balajadia
The first time participants in the FD Masters Basketball Tournament ended up stealing the show Saturday as a collective group of Oceanview players upended the FD Class of ’91 in the finals 58-54 after trailing by as many as 14 points.
The Oceanview team’s participation in the tournament marked the very first time non-alumni were allowed to participate in the tournament in FD’s long tournament history. Prior to be being eligible, the Oceanview players had to get the okay from each team in the tournament, which they did, and had to pay a higher entrance fee.
Oceanview’s lights out shooter Sandy Fejeran was one of the leaders scoring 20 points after coming off a monstrous 48-point outing in the semifinals.
The red hot shooting of ’91 gave them the early lead with Luis Cruz hitting four three pointers in the first half and J Onedera working the inside game. With the second half winding down, Oceanview still trailed by 11 points, but the defensive intensity increased which allowed the first-time tournament team to rally back.
“We just applied more pressure. We played a little lax in the first half, but we caused turnovers in the second half which led to some fast breaks that we converted,” said Fejeran.
With less than three minutes left to play, a layup by Fejeran tied the game at 54 and a three-pointer by Oceanview’s Ron Taitague gave his squad their first lead which they held on to in the closing minutes.
The Oceanview Knight’s 1993 basketball team honored their coach Felipe Candaso Friday afternoon during his 20-year anniversary for being the only team from Guam to ever win the Far East Basketball Tournament and Taitague was at the ceremony.
When asked if there was a little OHS 1993 magic in the air Fejeran responded with, “I hope so, we had to channel that inner ‘Fat East’ team from back in the day. These guys, no matter how old they are, know how to play basketball. [Ron] hit big shots for today, especially in crunch time and he really stepped up for us.”
Taitague was hitting big shots all game that never really allowed ’91 to run away with it.
The final minute of the game consisted of fouls to Oceanview which worked to ’91’s advantage after Oceanview failed to hit free throws consecutively. ’91 could not avoid their own mistakes however, turning the ball over twice in the final minute while also going cold from the field.
The first-year team became the first year champs and Fejeran shared his experience of the tournament by saying, “This was one of the best experiences ever playing basketball. FD is a really close-knit community and I’m surprised they opened it up, but I’m also grateful for being invited. To experience the camaraderie here and the way they do things here at FD was a pretty good experience.”
Despite the loss, FD ’91 still holds the title as the only class in FD history to win all four Songfest titles.
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