Pride and excitement was in the air as the Fillipino Canadian Basketball League Yukon opened its 15th season on Dec. 11.
Before the jump ball that started the first game, players, organizers and sponsors took time to reflect on the league’s growth and the positive role it plays in their lives.
Local elected officials were among those offering well wishes to the players ahead of the first games.
“The resilience of the Filipinos is a trait that has got us through the most challenging times back home. You’ve got storms, you’ve got poverty, you have political upheavals and you have more storms,” said Whitehorse city councillor Jocelyn Curteanu.
“Basketball is a great sport to build resilience and maybe that’s one of the reasons Filipinos are so good at it. Players experience a lot of highs and lows.”
The season was officially opened by Porter Creek Centre MLA Yvonne Clarke and Canadian Filipino Association of the Yukon President Aurora Viernes.
Opening night saw one game in the under-35 division and one in the over-35.
The under-35 matchup saw the Wolverines grind out out a victory over Greatway.
Although Rich Thompson was in the zone draining 51 points for Greatway, Wolverines were up four points at the final buzzer. Standouts on the winning team were Kiiwadiin Swan with 25 points as well as Arlow James-Walker and Aiman Muhammad who put up 19 each. The final score was 95-91.
The Domino’s Pizza team finished off the over-35 game against Ranj Pillai Team with a commanding score of 120-91. Dave Stehelin was the top scorer on Domino’s with 34 points and Mhar Corpuz put up 30 for team Pillai.
The weekend’s hoops weren’t done after opening night with two more games scheduled for Dec. 12.
In under-35 action Brgy Miranda ran up the score on Silver Team for a final of 92-62.
The over-35 Wolf Pack beat Whitehorse Toyota 98-76.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org