Houston, Texas / September 3-4, 2011
The Philippine Sports Association of Texas (PSAOT) hosted the 7th Annual Filipino Basketball Association of North America in Houston, Texas on the Labour Day Long Weekend (Sept. 3-4, 2011). Teams from all over Canada and the United States were in attendance and representing Winnipeg, there were seven teams composed of players from the PBA (formerly Lipenos) and WAAY basketball leagues.
Congratulations to the Winnipeg Juvenile Boys for winning the tournament championships. Team Winnipeg played a tough opponent from Vaughn in the Sunday afternoon final match-up.
In the Tykes Division, Team Winnipeg lost the finals to Mississauga. In the Pee Wee division, Winnipeg was knocked out in the 2nd round consolation game against Glendale Heights. Bantam Boys lost in the finals against Toronto by going through the consolation bracket after losing it’s 2nd game to Toronto. Winnipeg’s Senior’s team lost their semi-final match against Washington DC.
Team Winnipeg Ladies Open won a first round no-show against Chicago, a perennial favourite at FBANA tournaments. Chicago would battle back to make the finals and avenge their first round lost by winning the Ladies Open Division title against Winnipeg.
Midget Girls lost in the finals to Vaughn. They lost their opening game against Vaughn and battled back through the consolation bracket to get a 2nd shot against Vaughn and came up short to winning the finals.
Men’s Open Division. Entering the tournament with a short bench, the challenge for Winnipeg to make it to the finals was daunting. They opened the tournament with an overtime loss against Houston. With tough physical games against New Jersey, New York, Toronto, they lost in the semi-finals against Chicago. Houston, the tournament host would eventually claim the championship title over Chicago.
Message from Coach dela Cruz
First off…I would like to thank all the players and parents of FBA Winnipeg for your trust and commitment throughout the summer as my teams prepared for Houston 2011. It has been my pleasure in coaching the Tykes, PeeWee and Bantam team over the past 6 months. All your hard work and dedication is appreciated.
For all those that were able to make the trip, take a moment to reflect on the entire FBA experience…the sound of victory and the agony of defeat…cherish every moment because not every kid, not every parent will ever experience what we experienced in Houston over the Labour Day Weekend. It was an incredible journey and I hope that all of you enjoyed it as much as my family, friends and I did. Regardless of whether we won or loss, the memory of representing the city of Winnipeg and playing against the very best will always be a part of you.
I have been involved with FBA for many years now and in my opinion…Houston 2011 was THE BEST host ever! Everything about Houston was awesome! Everything they did…they did right..go big or go home! Everything definitely is Bigger in Texas!!…like the 50pcs chicken McNuggets for $10.25 @ McDonald’s or the 3Litre pop for $2.29…yikes…only in Texas…hahaha
The Westin Oak hotel was owned by team Winnipeg for the entire week! Our outdoor roof top pool became our common meeting area and we used the weight room as our “after hours” spot..
Shopping was crazy as we had a huge mall attached to our hotel and the outlet malls were so close and easy to get to. The nightlife was quite an experience for those of age…and quite memorable…or forgettable for those that “engaged” in extracurricular activities…:p
The opening ceremonies venue was humongous, excellent and the seats were super comfortable. The best part was the “players oath” by the Masters division…Dance!….”Sayow!!”…too funny!
The gym venues were top notch and being only 2mins away from each other..we were able to watch the majority of games and it was nice to see our city support one another!
The closing ceremonies topped off our weekend as the venue was spectacular and there was NO waiting line to get food. Houston brought in a Filipino comedian from California named Joey Guila…hilarious!!! (Filipino GPS…”Turn..already”) and the (“bakla dance”)…ahahaha too funny!
FBA team Winnipeg would not be possible without the players, parents, families, coaches, committee, sponsors and the great City of Winnipeg!
On several occasions throughout the weekend, I was approached by parents from the other North American cities. These parents told me how envious they were that our city was so tightly knit and how our players were very skilled and our sportsmanship was unlike anything they have ever seen. When our opponents fell to the floor, we helped them up, when there was a hard foul, we made sure the opponent was ok before we left the area…whether we won or loss…we were gracious in defeat and humble in victory. Some of these parents compared our teams to the rest of the other teams and the consensus was that team Winnipeg was a lot “friendlier” than the others.
That is great to hear considering our teams are just as competitive and tenacious as every other team out there…the difference is how we carry ourselves and how we represent our city. Good job to all of you team Winnipeg!