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Deciding UNTV Cup game set on Sunday; teams all eyes on finals

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 16 February 2018 07:26 PM

“Go win or go home”, the theme of UNTV Cup Semifinals’ last game on February 18, 2018. (Ruby Vercide / Photoville International)

Expect this Sunday to be one of best games of the season as the last four teams of UNTV Cup Season 6 this Sunday, February 18 at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City, try to secure tickets to the much-anticipated finals of the only charity basketball league in the country.

Two-time champions Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Cavaliers will battle it out with the much-improved Senate Defenders at 3 PM while last year’s runner-up, Malacañang-PSC Kamao will try to seal a finals berth as they face the National Housing Authority (NHA) Builders at 5 PM.

The losers of these battles will settle for the knockout battle for third place on March 4, 2018, at the Pasig City Sports Center.

All teams are equally hungry for the prestige of winning the Cup and the P4-M top prize and P2-M 1st runner-up.

In the first game, the AFP Cavaliers will rely on their veteran and winning experiences in the league with the help of their rookie players, Lumongsod and Almerol. The Senate Defenders, on the other hand, led by the playmakers/lawmakers senators Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva, will capitalize on their unselfish plays and a rigorous defense.

In the second game, the NHA Builders will count on their deep pool of young and talented rosters while Malacañang-PSC Kamao will hold on to their eager desire to help their chosen charity, the children with cancer.

The Kamao and the Defenders have the momentum, but Cavaliers and the Builders have the desire to bounce back.

All participating teams have their own partner charitable institutions with the champion winning P4-M while the second placer with P2-M.

BMPI-UNTV CEO and Public Service advocate Kuya Daniel Razon, the originator of the play for charity league UNTV Cup, launched the League of Public Servants in 2013 and has been giving millions in pesos every year for beneficiaries of respective winning teams each season with the league’s primary sponsor Bro. Eliseo Soriano of the Members Church of God International (MCGI).

These games will be shown live on UNTV News and Rescue local channel 37 and via web streaming at www.untvweb.com. — UNTV New Media

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AFP Cavaliers advances to UNTV Cup Season 7 Finals

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 10:51 AM

AFP Cavaliers’ Darwin Cordero gets away with a lay up during the Game 2 of the Best of 3 Semifinals of UNTV Cup Season 7. (Paul Junnel Aquino / Photoville International)

For the third time, AFP Cavaliers scored another shot at bringing home the championship trophy from the league of public servants, UNTV Cup.

The men in uniform blew NHA Builders’ chances of qualifying as they swept the best of three semifinals series after an overwhelming victory in Game 2, 86-78, last Sunday (February 10) at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Darwin Cordero with 30 points and Wilfred Casulla with 17 points, were hailed as the Best Players of the Game.

“Hard work, pinaghirapan talaga ng team ito. We really focused on winning this semi-finals. We really practiced hard, marami kaming preparation. We are happy nagawa namin lahat,” AFP Cavaliers Head Coach Corporal Cornelio “Sonny” Manucat III said.

(Hard work. We really worked hard for this. We really focused on winning this semi-finals. We really practiced hard, we had a lot of preparation. We are happy that we were able to do all of it.)

AFP also revealed that they had a hard time with NHA’s transition offense, but they were able to adjust.

Although the NHA dominated the rebounding department, they were shooting bricks from the outside. Out of their 14 attempts from the three point territory, they only made 3 shots while the AFP had 12 out of 30.

The AFP’s 11 steals and NHA’s 19 turnovers were also crucial to the result of the game.

“Nawala sa composure yung mga player ko, medyo napagod eh. Inabot pa kami ng sobrang malas sa three points, di maka-shoot, naaagawan. All in all nawala yung composure namin… ang dami naming error,” NHA Coach Benett Palad said.

(We lost our composure, we got tired. We were not connecting our shots and we lost a lot of possession. All-in-all, we lost our composure and we made a lot of errors.)

Meanwhile, the defending champion Senate Defenders were able to extend the series to a do-or-die match on February 24 after defeating the PNP Responders, 74-69.

The Senate Defenders capitalized on their defense to be able to keep their chance at securing the UNTV Cup Season 6 champion title this season.

“We played interior defense. Yung mga penetration nila nachi-check namin (We were able to neutralize their penetration attempts). And then, we cannot stop Omiping. What we can do is contain him. So, I think we were able to contain him and the rest ng mga players nila (of their players). Hindi naman namin na pa-contribute (We stopped them from contributing). We got lucky in the end,” Senate Head Coach Mike Fermin said.

Best Players of the Game Reynaldo Malaga Jr had 30 points while James Ryan Mangaran contributed 17 points.

Due to Senate’s tough defense, two-time MVP and PNP’s main gunner, Ollan “The Sniper” Omiping was only able to score 12 points.

“Yung pinaka-lapses namin ang baba ng fieldgoals namin especially, sa labas… kailangan naming i-improve namin ang shooting sa labas. And the same thing, kailangan namin i-improve ang depensa namin,” PNP’s playing coach Harold Sta. Cruz said.

(Our main lapse was our field goals, it’s so low; especially our outside shooting. The same thing with our defense, we need to improve that.)

The winner in Game 3 of PNP vs Senate series will face season 2 and 4 champions, AFP Cavaliers in the Season 7 Finals. — Bernard Dadis / UNTV News and Rescue

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AFP, PNP bag first semi-final wins at UNTV Cup 7

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 4 February 2019 05:42 PM

Despite of NHA’s tough defense, AFP’s Ezer Rosopa (#4) managed to produced relevant contributions to the Cavaliers making him one of the 3 hailed Best Player of the Game. (Fred Alvior / Photoville International)

The UNTV Cup Season 7 kicked off its best of three semi-final series with explosive matches at the Pasig City Sports Center last Sunday (February 3).

The AFP Cavaliers collided with the NHA Builders in the first game, with the latter deploying a run-and-gun tactic at the start of the match to record a six-point early edge against AFP’s 14 points in the first quarter.

But Cavaliers’ Boyet Bautista turned the tables in the second quarter by firing nine points, and another six in the next quarter to outscore the NHA.

The Builders tried to snatch back the lead in the last quarter but the AFP fired all its cylinders to block the NHA until the final buzzer sounded.

The first game ended with the final score of 78-76 in favor of the AFP, thanks to Jerry Lumongsod’s moves, ably supported by Bautista and Ezer Rosopa.

The three were hailed as the Best Players of the Game after firing a combined 36 points.

Corporal Cornelio “Sonny” Manucat III said, “I salute my players, I also give credit to NHA. It’s a hard-fought game… yung NHA medyo maganda rin yung ginawa nila na adjustment pero unfortunately, buti bandang huli nakapag adjust kami ng maayos.”

(…NHA made a good adjustment but unfortunately [for them], we were also able to adjust properly later in the game.)

The PNP Responders are likewise off to a great start after routing season six champion Senate Defenders, 79-74.

Allan Omiping and Jerry Boy Saracho led the PNP to bagging its first semi-final victory by firing a total of 35 points.

The Responders narrowly defeated the Senate after the latter boosted its plays in the third and last quarters to snap PNP’s early edge.

But Saracho’s consecutive three-point shots and Anton Tolentino’s two free throws in the last part of the game helped the PNP to spur on to victory.

“Nagka-foul trouble. So medyo nag-collapse yung ibang teammates ko, pero still composure. Sabi ko game plan nangyayari nung prinaktis natin so luckily thankful di bumigay yung teammates ko,” Harold Sta. Cruz said.

(We had foul trouble. Some of my team mates collapsed but still the composure was there. I told them, our game plan was what we practiced. Luckily, we finished the game with our composure intact.)

“Yung will to win. We’re up by twelve tapos suddenly were down. So kapag ganoon dapat killer instinct ibaon pa namin dapat,” Coach Mike Fermin said.

(The will to win. We were leading by 12 points then suddenly we were down. In that moment, we need to have killer instinct. We should bury them more with a huge lead.) — Bernard Dadis

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Senate, NHA bag first quarterfinal wins

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:01 PM

Senator Joel Villanueva fires from the three-point territory during the game between the Senate Defenders and PITC Global Traders on January 13, 2019. (Paul Aquino / Photoville International)

Defending champions Senate Defenders sustained their impressive showing in the continuing elimination rounds after routing the PITC Global Traders at the start of the quarterfinals of the UNTV Cup Season 7 at the Pasig City Sports Center on Sunday.

Senate defeated PITC, 65-59, after Best Players of the Game awardees Senator Joel Villanueva and Rommel Balboa led the Defenders to victory with their combined 33 points.

“I wasn’t making my shots the first few quarters. Sabi nila sa akin basta good shot libre kesa mag-commit ng error. Take the shot, let it fly. So, nag-stick ako sa trust and confidence ng teammates ko. So, I made a few baskets, [and] most of all ang pinaka-importante, we were able to win the ball game,” Sen. Villanueva said.

(I wasn’t making my shots the first few quarters. They told me that if it’s a good shot and you’re free [ take the shot ] instead of committing error. So, I stuck to that trust and confidence of my team mates. So, I made a few baskets, and the most important all, we were able to win the ball game.)

Senator Sonny Angara was not able to join the game due to a prior engagement but he still showed up to express support for his team.

“Tuloy pa rin ang preparasyon. Wala ng mahinang team dito sa natitirang team. Lahat pwedeng mag-champion kung tutuusin kaya kita mo very close ang laro natin. So, kailangan talagang paghandaan ang lahat ng team,” Sen. Sonny Angara said.

(Our preparation continues. There’s no more weak teams left. All teams here in the quarterfinals are capable of winning the championship title that’s why you saw in our game today it was very close. So we really have to prepare for our games against these remaining teams.)

Senate head coach Mike Fermin said the Defenders improved their form after rookie PITC tried to upset them in the season’s opening game last September.

“So, coming to this game, usapan namin hindi na dapat maulit, sa dulo dikit. So buti pa nga medyo nandoon naman ang composure ng mga players. Sila Senator Joel saka Senator Sonny sila talaga nga ba-bond ng team,” Coach Mike Fermin said.

(So, coming to this game we agreed that it should not happen again that in the end game the battle should be toe-to-toe. Fortunately, the composure of my players was there. Senators Joel Villanueva and Sonny Angara, they really bond the team.)

PITC Head Coach Victor Ycasiano, meanwhile, expressed disappointment over the dismal performance of his team during the quarterfinal game.

“Hindi ko nakita yung players ko yung dati kung gaano sila ka aggressive. Kanina wala ako nakita sa kanila na aggressive.”

( I did not see in my players the same aggression they used to have. None of them played aggressively.)

“Yung sa akin, yun lang ang pakiramdam ko we are not ready to play today’s game. We were not here to play to win, we’re just here to play,” Coach Victor Ycasiano said.

(As for me, I just felt that were not ready to play today’s game. We were not here to play to win, we’re just here to play.)

Also off to a winning start this round are the NHA Builders who managed to clobber the Malacañang-PSC Kamao, 78-72.

Clark Torrente was hailed as Best Player of the Game for firing 14 points, four rebounds and one steal.

“Sinabi ko lang na mag-focus saka yung intensity hanggang sa dulo lagi kami nagku-collapse sa huli eh. Minsan nag-oover confidence, minsan tinatamad, nawawalan ng gana. So, ang sabi ko lang ang pinaka-importante sa lahat yung dulo, hindi yung umpisa, so i-sustain lang yung laro mula umpisa hangang dulo. We have to start strong, finish strong,” Coach Bennett Palad said.

(I told to my players to focus and their intensity should be maintained until the end because we usually collapse in the end game. Sometimes, we tend to be over confident, to be lazy and uninterested. So I said, the most important of all is the final minutes not the beginning of the game, so we must sustain our play until the end. We have to start strong, finish strong.)

“Sama rin ng laro ng ibang players ko, shooters ko di gumana. Pero proud pa rin ako sa boys ko kung ano yung pinakita nila ngayon,” Coach Raffy Gonzales said.

(We had an off night; my gunners were not effective. But I am still proud of my boys and what they showed in today’s game.)

So far, NHA and PITC both hold five wins and five loses among the four teams battling in the quarterfinals. Senate leads the list with 7-3 win-loss record followed by Malacañang-PSC with six-four record.

The teams will play three games each in the round robin for the quarter finals.

The two teams that will place at the bottom of the standings will be eliminated while the remaining two will advance to the semis to duel with the AFP Cavaliers and PNP Responders in the best of three series. — Bernard Dadis / UNTV News and Rescue

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