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August 28, 2012 > Johnny be Good Wins Hoops Classic

Johnny be Good Wins Hoops Classic

Submitted By Candy Alcosiba

On Saturday, August 18, the San Lorenzo Japanese Christian Church held its annual 3 on 3 Hoops Classic Tournament at the Alameda Point Gym in Alameda. The tournament of about ten divisions consists of adults and youth from a wide area, growing in popularity every year. Guest speakers add to tournament popularity and this year, Oakland Raiders Stefan Wisineiwski delivered a testament of his faith and commitments bringing encouragement to the athletes.

For the second year, Pastor and Coach Glen Pon represented Fremont Christian School with players of the Fremont Christian junior high basketball team. After taking first place in the tournament last year, they knew they were the team to beat and they had a title to defend. But with more teams involved and much tougher competition, they would have to work hard throughout the day to accomplish their goal. The Johnny be Good team of Josh Ramirez, Kyle Alcosiba, Tyler Pon, Adanael Valle and Deven Wani proved to be an unstoppable powerhouse at the tournament.

Coach Pon was not worried, "We began practice in early July and worked hard." He said. "We have a nice mixture of players who have been there before and all players have their own individual strengths, and know how to play team ball, as well as know how to take advantage of mismatches and opening."

Things got off to a shaky start for Johnny be Good - a name in honor of their summer English homework assignment. They faced what would prove to be their toughest competition in the tournament, team Redemption. Redemption gave Johnny be Good no slack and dominated offensively throughout the game. Losing 21-8, the Johnny be Gooders were in need of some team redemption. And although the loss was tough on the team, Coach Pon remained confident, "It's better to lose the first one, than the last one." He told the boys after their defeat. "I did not worry about the first game lopsided loss knowing that we will get better with each game and may face them again in the playoffs." said Pon.

Realizing they were not playing their best, and the title could be at risk, they came back for their second game against the Fab Four. Tyler Pon had an amazing game scoring three back-to-back three pointers tilting the scoreboard early on in the game. But as always with the Fremont Christian players, wins are a collaborative effort and every player contributed to their 21-6 victory over their opponent. Closing them down early on restored their confidence, and that was all they needed.

The game three win over Sunset was a victory that solidified Johnny be Good's presence in the tournament. While each player did their part in the game it was Josh Ramirez drove the score up quickly with ten of the 21-6 victory. Great defense by Kyle Alcosiba and Adanael Valle made the shots possible.

Game four, and the first game into the single elimination bracket, Johnny be Good was facing the Dream Team. Ramirez and Pon scored 16 points between them while Alcosiba, Wani and Valle supplied the balance of points and sealed the fate of the game with a final score of 21-10.

Game five against Sunset was a dominating victory for the Johnny be Gooders. This time Alcosiba was among the high point scorers with 8 points along with Ramirez who scored 6. The 21-6 triumph put them in the championship bracket where they would face off, yet again, with the Redemption.

The final game of the day was an intense battle between two extremely strong teams. The Redemption, who may have thought they knew Johnny be Good's game, was in for an immediate shock. Running the scoreboard up early on, the team settled in with a 17 to 10 lead. However, the Redemption was ferociously fighting back as they wanted the title as much as Johnny be Good. But Tyler Pon made the last shot of the day, a 3-pointer that was shot far beyond the 3-point line. Once the team digested what had just happened, smiles, shrieks and hugs were the scene as the Johnny be Gooders, from Fremont Christian School won their second title.

"Every member of the team is equally important to the team." Kyle Alcosiba said. "We lose together and we win together, we are a team." The victory is sweet and the Johnny be Gooders will be back next year to defend their title.

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