The Filipino Basketball League was established in San Antonio in 1991 by civil engineer Lyndon Duano because basketball is the Filipino’s favorite sport anywhere in the world, the game is what brings the Pinoy community together in San Antonio, Texas, through a league that plays two tournaments a year.
Tom Cunanan, one of Duano’s co-organizers, said in the early years, the San Antonio league drew players from Austin, Lubbock, Dallas and Houston. Eventually, the neighboring cities started their own leagues. “There is a huge population of Filipinos in San Antonio so basketball is always a pastime for all of us,” said Cunanan, a University of the Philippines at Los Baños graduate in civil engineering in 1997. “Some of the best players who’ve gone through our league are George Tubera, Agustin David, Junie Poblete, Lee De Leon and John Crisostomo.”
Cunanan moved to Los Angeles in 2002 through an employment scholarship then relocated to San Antonio to work with an engineering consulting firm. “I decided to work in the US so that I could support my family in the Philippines and send my youngest brother to school,” he said. “I got married in 2008 and now have a four-year-old daughter. I’m a registered civil engineer in the state of Texas.”
Cunanan said the San Antonio league usually starts a tournament with a parade just like in the Philippines. “Every team has a muse,” he said. “We give out trophies for the best muse and the team with the best uniform. This year, we’ve doing two All-Star Games, one in the open category and the other for 30-and-over.”
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