YUNG SHUE WAN, Lamma Island, Hong Kong -- What an action-packed day! A blend of six teams, seven games and more than the promised seven hours of basketball action led to the emergence of “one champion” here on February 5.
After some heart-thumping tense moments, the champion turned out to be the red-uniformed Huggen D'ass team guided by player-coach Andrew Boyet Ferraris. With speedy, sure-handed guards, versatile forwards and a determined effort by everyone, Huggen D'ass defeated the green-clad Awesome Tigers 63-52 in the final game.
Winning three times on one day, Huggen D'ass overcame a history of losing close games. Good teamwork helped immensely, especially in the final.
The Tigers impressed too. Reinforced by talented new recruits, they reached the final with apparent ease. They toppled the Gray Hawks 62-44 and then outgunned the yellow-uniformed Lamma Lickers 45-30.
The Lamma Island Pinoy Basketball League (LIPBL) organized the one-day event as an encore to its recent second season. It turned into the most hotly contested local hoops showdown yet -- with six teams versus the past seasons' four and then five teams.
For the first time, a non-Lamma team, the church-based CFCFFL (Couples For Christ), participated against LIPBL rivals. After a razor-thin 64-60 loss to Huggen D'ass, the visiting side toppled recent LIPBL champions the Lamma Archers (blue uniforms) 54-47. CFCFFL finished third in the tournament.
Both recent LIPBL finalists ended the one-day tournament back in the pack. The Archers lost twice, including 44-40 to Huggen D'ass. Past runners-up, the Gray Hawks, outlasted the Lamma Lickers 46-43 before falling prey to the Tigers.
To compress an entire tournament into a day, the LIPBL made several temporary rules changes. The games were shorter, and players fouled out after only four personal infractions.
For a future third season, the LIPBL organizing committee plans to redraft the league's players (including non-Pinoys) onto entirely new teams. The new season should begin later this year.
One-Day Tournament Results
Huggen D'ass 44, Lamma Archers 40
Gray Hawks 46, Lamma Lickers 43
Huggen D'ass 64, CFCFFL 60
Awesome Tigers 62, Gray Hawks 44
CFCFFL 54, Lamma Archers 47
Awesome Tigers 45, Lamma Lickers 30
Title Game -- Huggen D'ass 63, Awesome Tigers 52
One-Day Tournament Final Rankings
Amid the action, some players dance, others clap?
The Awesome Tigers (green) roar toward the final.
One player grasps what the rest covet.
Parallel lineups ponder how the ball bounces.