The Bisdak Fighters basketball team on Sunday clinched the title of a summer basketball league for Philippine migrant workers held in Taipei by a Philippine organization that aims to help its compatriots in different countries.
The Bisdak Fighters, named after an expression that refers to the Visaya region of the Philippines, defeated the Palawan team 95-80 in a game that was tied with only three minutes left.
Neither team was able to build much of a lead for most of the contest. Palawan led at halftime 49-45, but the Fighters edged ahead 71-68 after three quarters.
It wasn't until the two teams were tied at 80 with only three minutes left that Palawan's defense finally gave way. The Fighters went on a 15-0 run, mainly from free throws and fast breaks, to put the game away and claim the title.
Fighters power forward Eian Daryll S. Lapuz led all scores with 29 points and was named MVP of the title game.
The 27-year-old Lapuz, who works in Taoyuan, said the Fighters beat Palawan because they defended well and each player felt the "full support" of the whole team.
Palawan guard Jojo Tomagan felt his team's defense broke down late in Sunday's game.
"Unfortunately we lost because of the lack of defense by our team, but thankfully we still reached the finals," he said. "Perhaps we just got tired in the last quarter and the (defense) collapsed."
The 2019 CIASI Taiwan Basketball League, which featured 17 men's teams that played every Sunday between May 19 to Aug. 11 at the basketball courts behind Taipei's Minglun High School, was organized by the Taiwan chapter of the Confederation of Ilocano Association, Inc. (CIASI).
Rheden Delumen, national chairman of CIASI's Taiwan chapter, which has 13 sub-chapters with approximately 700 members in the country, said the basketball teams are made up of members of Taiwan's Filipino migrant worker community and is aimed at creating unity, sportsmanship and respect.
"This basketball league brings us (migrant workers) joy and happiness, in addition to keeping OFW (overseas Filipino workers) healthy and fit through sports," he said.