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2004 TO FACE 2013 IN FD HOOPS FINALS

The Class of 2004 will get a chance to defend their FD Alumni Basketball title after defeating the Class of 2008 in the semis. They will meet the Class of 2013, who had to get through a gritty bunch of five-time Alumni champs in 2006.

By Robert Balajadia

2013's Michael Sakazaki soars above both teammate and opponent to catch the rebound.  (Photo by Daniel Paran)

2013’s Michael Sakazaki soars above both teammate and opponent to catch the rebound. (Photo by Daniel Paran)

The FD Alumni Class of 2006 had been the kings of the summer tournament over the past decade notching five titles in their historic run. But for the second straight year a younger class has come along to keep the title out of the hands of 06 in the Class of 2013 led by Men’s National Team member Michael Sakazaki and GSPN’s own John Baza.

Baza dropped 19 points, hitting big-time buckets for 2013 when they needed it most as they led wire-to-wire while holding off a late comeback by 06. Sakazaki had a strong 13 points from the post as 06 had difficulties shutting down the Chaminade Silversword forward.

2013’s 30-20 halftime lead seemingly evaporated after Brian Aflague and Mikey Sgro hit a pair of three pointers to get within 34-32. ’13 then went to Sakazaki in the post on back-to-back possessions as he used dream shakes and up and unders to get timely buckets for a 40-36.

2013’s John Onedera missed a pair of free throws down the stretch and ’06 managed to turn the missed freebies into points off a layup from Frank Arriola, courtesy of a dish from Julius Yu. Baza then went to the line on two straight possession, splitting both free throws for a slim 44-40 lead with under 20 seconds left to go.

2006 then got the ball down low to leading scorer Rob Leon Guerrero, who got hacked underneath the rim and threw up a wild shot that hit the cable wire holding the rim in place while falling straight in the basket. ’06 started celebrating, but the refs signalled that the play was dead after the ball had hit the wire.

Leon Guerrero missed both free throws, but Aflague stole the ball on the 2013 inbound and converted on layup to get within 44-42 with seven ticks left. 2013 then threw the ball ahead to Baza as he tossed it ahead to Sakazaki to run out the remaining seconds of the game for the win.

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2004 – 47, 2008 – 30

The defending champions of the Alumni Tournament are headed back to defend the title once again after getting a strong 20 point performance from Matt Leon Guerrero to knock the Class of 2008 out of the tourney. Offense was hard to come by for the Class of 2008 as they trailed big 28-11 at the half.

Men’s National Team baller Willie Stinnett didn’t need to log in a bunch of minutes with the ’04 class getting a collective team scoring effort, overwhelming ’08.

Three point jump shots for ’08’s Jason Baza and Jeremy Manglona started to fall late in the game to get as close as 42-30 with under a minute to play, but ’04’s Chris Santos shut the door with back-to-back buckets in the post to lock up the lead.

Baza led ’08 with 13 points.

1965 – 19, 2970 – 14

The Class of 1965 were crowned champions of the Masters game with a strong 8-point performance from Peter Roy Martinez. The game may have been played in slow motion, but the support of the crowd made the game feel just as exciting as brawl between two lions fighting over king of the pride rock.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Class of 13's John Baza goes in for the easy layup.  (Photo by Daniel Paran)

Class of 13’s John Baza goes in for the easy layup. (Photo by Daniel Paran)

Johnny Onedera breaks through a gap in 06's defense.  (Photo by Daniel Paran)

Johnny Onedera breaks through a gap in 06’s defense. (Photo by Daniel Paran)

Frank Arriola struggles to hold on to the ball after getting the rebound.  (Photo by Daniel Paran)

Frank Arriola struggles to hold on to the ball after getting the rebound. (Photo by Daniel Paran)

Brian Aflague puts one up over Class of '13 defense.  (Photo by Daniel Paran)

Brian Aflague puts one up over Class of ’13 defense. (Photo by Daniel Paran)

2006's Julius Yu drains a three from the left wing. (Photo by Daniel Paran)

2006’s Julius Yu drains a three from the left wing. (Photo by Daniel Paran)

Rob Leon Guerrero attempting a layup over Michael Sakazaki.  (Photo by Daniel Paran)

Rob Leon Guerrero attempting a layup over Michael Sakazaki. (Photo by Daniel Paran)

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