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79/80 OLDIES MOVE ON TO FD SEMIFINALS

Although the 2014 FD Alumni Basketball Tournament nears its end, the excitement and unexpected upsets seem to get better and better as the final days approach. In the quarterfinal games on Wednesday night, a pair of upsets took place with last minute clutch shots and shocking come from behind wins.

By Nate San Nicolas

Although the 2014 FD Alumni Basketball Tournament nears its end, the excitement and unexpected upsets seem to get better and better as the final days approach. In the quarterfinal games on Wednesday night, a pair of upsets took place with last minute clutch shots and shocking come from behind wins.

2009 – 63, 430 – 39

Despite the foul trouble early on as a team, 2009 continued to play their relentless, all-hustle defense and when they had the ball, they for sure kept that tempo. However, 430 was not going to let them run around that easily as they used their physicality and muscle to stay close in the game.

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Guahan Soldier player of the game Steven Gatewood

Down 21-29 at the start of the second half, John Tuquero and Alvin Alvarez came in with six unanswered point to come within two, but back-to-back three pointers by Steven Gatewood and another by Javier widened that gap even further. Alvarez and Tuquero continued to try and get a rally going, but the defense from 2009 seemed too much to handle.

To make matters worse, the continual #buckets from Gatewood seemed impossible to stop as 2009 knocked off 430 with a final score of 63-39.

2009’s Vince Reyes takes the ball down the sideline as a defender tracks his moves. (photo by Asha Robles)

2009’s Vince Reyes takes the ball down the sideline as a defender tracks his moves. (photo by Asha Robles)

“We’re excited for tomorrow. We have some good guys, but we know that 2004 has talent but more experience as well. We just have to bring it tomorrow,” replied Gatewood on what he think about advancing to the semifinals tomorrow. Another motivation for 2009 is playing for a purpose other than winning, as the purple apparel they sport on the court represents someone special to the entire team.

Gatewood led all scorers with 21 points while Alvarez led 430 with 10 points of his own.

2012 – 51, 91/98 – 45

From the start, the game was filled with physicality and intense emotions from both teams as the 2012 young bucks advance to the semifinals after beating the highly experienced and talented group of men of 91/98. Romeo Sanchez and J Onedera were the offensive forces for the older muscle as they took control early at the start with a 9-0 run. But 2012 found a weakness with the experienced team by switching to full court press. Converting turnovers into points and sharp shooting from Stanley Wong and Glen Gogue, 2012 kept the game close throughout.

The offensive forces of Sanchez and Onedera helped 91/98 maintain a lead through the second half. However, down five with only a minute left in the game, Wong hit a clutch shot beyond the arch to bring his team within two. After hustle defense, 2012 was able to gain possession of the ball and a quick baseline three-pointer by Cameron Eusebio put the young bucks up by one. To give 2012 an even greater lead, Christian Paulino made a timely steal that led to an easy layup to push the lead to three. With desperation and time winding down, clutch free throws by Wong and Eusebio locked in the semifinal spot for the young bucks with a final score of 51-45.

2012 moves on to play the elder class of 79/80.

79/80 – 53, 2013 – 52

After dethroning the reigning champs, the Class of 2013 lost a heart-wrenching match to the elder class of 79/80 53-52. The younger class kept the lead for the entirety of the match, but the excitement came at the final minutes of the game as the Javellana brothers hit clutch three point shots and nailed important free throws at the final minutes of the game. Despite the age gap, the physicality and will to win was there for elder class. Unable to convert opportune free-throws, the class of 2013 was knocked off the bracket to see the Class of 79/80 move on to challenge 2012 in the semifinals

Despite the defeat, upsets and heart-wrenching plays, at the end of every tournament, a Friar is always a winner. For the young kids on the court, it should be an honor to be playing against men who are still competitive not only on the court, but in life as well. And as elders, it should be an honor to see the tradition of brotherhood to be carried on. The 2014 FD Alumni tournament comes to a close on Friday night, but the brotherhood of the alumni will carry-on forever.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Matt Borja of 2009 attempts to get the rebound between two 430 defenders. (photo by Asha Robles)

Matt Borja of 2009 attempts to get the rebound between two 430 defenders. (photo by Asha Robles)

Kev Javier of 2009 puts in the layup. (photo by Asha Robles)

Kev Javier of 2009 puts in the layup. (photo by Asha Robles)

2009’s Steve Gatewood looks to take the ball towards the center of the court. (photo by Asha Robles)

2009’s Steve Gatewood looks to take the ball towards the center of the court. (photo by Asha Robles)

430's drives in the lane through the 2009 defense. (photo by Asha Robles)

430’s Brandon Knapp drives in the lane through the 2009 defense. (photo by Asha Robles)

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