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Pibaq's U-17 team lifts Manama tourney trophy

Pibaq's U-17 team lifts  Manama tourney trophy


The Pinoy Basketball of Qatar (Pibaq) Under-17 team brought glory to the Filipino community in Doha recently, when it bagged the championship title in the U-17 Youth GCC All-Filipino Club Championship 2016 held at Zain Basketball Arena, in Manama, Bahrain.
"The game was intense but playing with our hearts and having full determination, we succeeded," said Junior Falcons Club-SBP Pibaq Head Coach Francis Mercado.
Teams from Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia participated in the tournament, which was hosted by Filipino Club Basketball Group (FCBG) under the leadership of its chairman Emil Durano Jr. FCBG is a bonafide member of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP). The event was graced by Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain HE Alfonso S Ver and Cultural Attache at the Philippine Embassy Doha John Jiao.
"All the teams were excited about the tournament, although playing for two days is no joke, especially if you have three games in a day. But Junior Falcons Club-SBP Pibaq came prepared. I think we did a good job in the adjustment of our players. By using different kinds of combinations, we prepared them well for the third game in the tournament. We got 3-0 record on the first day with two games left to make it to the finals. The next day we lost against Team 1of Bahrain then we bounced back the next game against Saudi Arabia's Team White Camel, which earned us a spot in the final round.
"The game was all about adjustments and preparation. The scouting report of my assistant coach Jojo Longalong was detailed and we saw all the strengths and weaknesses of the teams. Each member of the team played their role on court. We are really happy and very proud with the chemistry of the team," Mercado said.
Besides lifting the championship trophy, the Junior Falcons was also equally proud with the accomplishment of their point guard Rifai Kanakan of the Philippine School (PSD) who was named Most Valuable Player. The participating teams in the tournament were Batang Jawo Junior Stallions (Bahrain Team 1), Tia Betty's Restaurant International (Bahrain Team 2), White Camel Youth Basketball Club of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, New Generation Basketball Camp from Dammam, KSA and the JK Sports-Jazzville Basketball League of Dubai, UAE.
"This kind of tournament is a good exposure for budding basketball players, especially those who are interested in joining college basketball in the Philippines. As Pibaq coaches, we are very proud to see our previous students demonstrate the developments in their skills and compete against other teams. Kudos to Pibaw for its continuous programme towards youth development," said Junior Falcons Assistant Coach Jojo Longalong.
The Qatar delegation also included Coach Arvin De Leon and Coach Andrew Sirios for Player Affairs and PIBAQ Founder Pat Carido as Head of the delegation. Carido is also the SBP Head of Referees and Sports Development Program in Qatar and OIC of All-Filipino GCC Basketball Confederation.
"SBP Qatar, a local Filipino community organisation promoting basketball in Qatar, aims to be the role model not only in Qatar but the whole GCC in promoting programmes that would benefit the youth and other enthusiasts," Carido remarked.
He also expressed gratitude to the sponsors of their team including Ooredoo, Alicafe, Happy Journey Travel, Filipino Community Center (FCC), Go Sports and Gulf Air.

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