1100 Vine St #404
Philadelphia, PA 19107
On Saturday December 4th, the Christmas 2010 Invitational was held at the new Fels High School in Northeast Philadelphia. 5 teams participated in this year's event. Thank you to FACAA for your support in helping us to coordinate this event. All proceeds from the tournament (in addition to donations by players, coaches, and friends) were donated in memory of Kevin Lo, a former Philadelphia Suns member who passed away tragically and unexpectedly in November at the young age of 24. Although he no longer competed in basketball events, Kevin was a good friend of the fastballonly organization as he grew up with quite a few of our players. He grew up in our community, he worked alongside some of our players, and went to school with others. Kevin formed deep friendships with some of our players and made an impact on all of our lives. He will be missed dearly by everyone including myself as he was one of the most dedicated and hard working players on the original Blazing Suns Junior High School team that I coached from 1998-2000. RIP Kevin.
Following the pool play, where each team participated in 2-3 games, all five teams advanced the playoffs begining in the early afternoon. In the wild card QF game, it was the battle of the 0-2 teams, Phila Fastball Juniors & the available members of the Phila Vintage team. Vintage was the chosen team name for the former Philadelphia Suns 18 team from the 2004-2007 time period. Although not all of the members came together for this event, 9 players did come back for a reunion of the hardest working and winningest Suns juniors team ever. Vintage didn't fare so well on the court in pool play though, as a few key missing pieces such as NACBA Top 18'er Tang Vu, exciting PG Rich Chau, and standout swingman Andrew Young were not in attendance. The rust was also apparent as the missed gimme layups and shaky free throw shooting evidenced that many of these players had not really played serious ball in a few years. Nevertheless, their opponent- Phila Fastball Juniors got a good lesson in what it will take for them to become a dominant 18/under team in their own era. Since both of these teams play under the same system, have the same philosophy, the same plays, and a similar style of players, it came down to execution, heart and chemistry. Although Vintage hadn't played together in about 3 years, they knew exactly where to find each other and which lanes to fill on the break. They simply won the battle fair and square, 40-34. SG Wayne Fung had 16 points and 4 swipes, while C Thuong Le had 7 pts and 6 rebs. Randy Chhun paced the Juniors with 8 and 8.
Vintage would play their 3rd straight game (they had played the final game of pool play) as they met up with the #1 seeded Virginia Supernova (3-0) in the Semis. Supernova beat Vintage 35-33 in the round robin, so this would likely turn out to be a close one again. Supernova played super defense in this game early on, as their pack it in zone defense was daring Vintage to hit a 3-pointer. Vintage was missing almost all of their top gun snipers, and the tightly woven zone had very few holes in it for them to drive to the hoop. Vintage got a couple baskets from Tommy Le & big brother Thuong Le to keep them close, but really Virginia was ruling the game. Liang Sang was making some pretty spin moves on his dribble penetration while PF Tino Tsung (18 pts, 8-9 ft) and Marlboro Man Tsung (8 pts) were fabulous. Virginia led 16-15 at the half. In the second half, the game started to get a little bit faster, just like Vintage wanted. Virginia started to get tired on defense, and Duck Fung (2 pts, 6 assists, All-Tourney) kept finding teammates for buckets. PF Dat Luong (16 pts, 3 boards, 1 assist) went on a tear and after he hit a baseline jumper, Vintage was in prime position to win it. But Virginia scored at the other end to go up 41-40. Vintage brought it up across to halfcourt and called timeout to set up a play with 2.6 ticks left. After the TO, they got Tuan Tang the ball, he drove towards the cup and he went up for a shot. He was shoved in the back after he blew by his man and the official blew the whistle but apparently time had expired before the whistle and Vintage would not get a chance to go into OT. Virginia survived and marched on to the Chip game.
In the other Semifinal game, the 2-0 FACAA team would play the host Fastball team. This fastball team was composed of mostly B and C team members along with 2 A team players who were filling in. FACAA looked good all morning, as they won both of their games by 8 points in pool play and had defeated fastball by a score of 45-37. FACAA's leaders were PG Alex Santos and 6-1 big man Reggie David. Reggie had been on a tear all day long, shooting about 75% on his midrange jumpers and turnaround moves. Alex meanwhile had registered 10 assists and 6 steals in his 2 pool play matchups. Together, their 2 man game was pretty much picking apart the competition. FACAA went to Reggie throughout the game as he scored 24 points (2-3 ft). Alex Santos hit 2 treyballs to keep Fastball honest. On the other end, Yu Heng Guo (19 pts, 4-4 ft, 3 triples, 7 rebounds) was leading the charge for fastball. But it looked like FACAA was going to take this game on their homecourt (they play their league games here). Just in the nick of time, Darren Tang closed his pharmacy and sprinted into the gym to try and rescue his team. He came on and scored 3 huge second half buckets to give fastball the momentum. After that, FACAA had to pay special attention to Darren Tang, so another Tang, center Khang Tang stepped into the spotlight. KT (9 pts, 2 steals) dropped in 7 second half points and Fastball pulled a shocker 40-33. Louis Hortaleza also added 10 pts and 4-6 ft's.
The championship game was a matchup of the 4-0 Virginia Supernova team and the 2-2 Phila fastball team. Supernova was a heavy favorite, having won the pool play matchup 34-24. With fastball having to play the back to back game, and with a number of their players having to leave early due to work obligations, Virginia had to be at least a 10-12 point favorite. As usual, it would be Tsung duo for Virginia. Mustache Man Marlboro was silky smooth as he had 8 early points on drives, pullups, and set shots. Tino (19 pts, 3 triples, 2 blocks, 3 steals) was a fantasy stat stuffer. Sidenote- Tino hit 31 of 35 free throws throughout the day, in addition to playing almost every minute of Virginia's 5 games. Khang Tang popped strings on a couple high post shots, and Darren Tang made the most of his opportunities (3-4 FG in the first half), but with fatigue striking most of the fastballers, and with numerous missed layups, Supernova was poised for a big celebration. They led 28-24 at the half. In the second half, Virginia started to wear out and suddenly they looked like their feet had cinder blocks on them. Actually, neither team could score or play turnover free basketball. But fastball's Doan Nguyen had the game of his life, snatching six 2nd half rebounds and converting on a crucial 3 point play as fastball was taking control. Trailing by 3, who else but Tino Tsung sank a monster 3-pointer to send it into overtime knotted at 33. In OT, each team held the ball and melted the clock. in the end, they traded 1 out of 2 free throw apiece and it went into double overtime. No one scored at all, as fatigue and dead legs were the story. Yu-Heng Guo tried to fight through his cramps and missed a corner triple, but Khang Tang grabbed the carom and put a shot up. A Supernova grabbed his right arm and was caught. Khang stepped to the line with no time and hit a ft to win in dramatic fashion 35-34. Congrats.
Fastball Only and Virginia Supernova
Pool Play Results
Phila FACAA def Phila Fastball Juniors 35-27
Phila Fastball def Phila Vintage 27-26
Virginia Supernova def Phila Fastball Juniors 51-43
Virginia Supernova def Phila Fastball 34-24
Phila FACAA def Phila Fastball 45-37
Virginia Supernova def Phila Vintage 35-33
Virginia Supernova 3-0, Phila FACAA 2-0, Phila Fastball 1-2, Phila Vintage 0-2, Phila Fastball Juniors 0-2.
Phila Vintage def Phila Fastball Juniors 40-34
Phila Fastball def Phila FACAA 50-43
Virginia Supernova def Phila Vintage 41-40
Phila Fastball def Virginia Supernova 35-34 (2OT)
Yu Heng Guo, Fastball (MVP)
Khang Tang, Fastball
Doan Nguyen, Fastball
Tino Tsung, Supernova
Marlboro Tsung, Supernova
Liang Sang, Supernova
Reggie David, FACAA
Duck Fung, Vintage
Richy Voong, Fastball Juniors
1100 Vine St #404
Philadelphia, PA 19107