A move to create a new annual Labour Day inter-city basketball tournament was developed in the fall
of 2004 by the Toronto group headed by Rudy Villadiego and Eddie Semira, in Montreal, QC in concurrence with the Chicago group
under the leadership of Ben Libao. A decision was made in the winter of 2005 in Windsor, ON to formalize the association in
a conference of like-minded leaders of basketball associations.
The Filipino Basketball Association (FBA) was founded. The framework of the association was a work
of many tedious hours of Ben Libao, Jun Borromeo and Geopo Dacanay to establish and write a constitution that will avoid pitfalls
of other groups and to make the By-Laws work with a spirit of reason and wisdom for the Association. The election of the first
leadership group of FBA also took place, as Ben Libao was elected the first FBA’s Commissioner, Joel Gomez, the Deputy
Commissioner for USA, Eddie Semira, the Deputy Commissioner for Canada. The first Inter-City tournament was hosted by Chicago,
with much success. The birth of a new tournament became a reality, complete with members dedicated to the mandate of the FBANA.
In the dedication for the first tournament of FBANA, Mr. Ben Libao, emphasized“to the youth of North America, our
future, our hope, our own inter-city tournament.”
The 2006 Toronto tournament hosted by the Philcan Athletic group reinforced the commitment and dedication
of the whole membership, even as the FBA experienced the growing pains of new association. Washington DC, the 2007 tournament
host, instituted the database for all players and put more foundation for the group as new cities became members to solidify
the annual Labour Day tournament. As the FBA grew, the tournament host for 2008, Winnipeg, have proven that the association
could stand alone with its mandate intact despite some naysayers. From neighboring cities to far flung regions of North America,
the FBA Labour Day tournament must now commence for its annual rite and will succeed with the solid commitments from all its
members. The Filipino Basketball Association of North America will continue to grow committed to its mandate for the Filipino
youth of the Americas. A need fulfilled a vision to nurture.
A new beginning has estalished and we will make our own mark in history.