Malacañang-PSC, Senate force do-or-die semifinal matches
Posted on: February 13th, 2018
The tough defense employed by the Malacañang-PSC to the NHA Builders was a big factor to force a game 2 in the semifinals as the main men of the Builders were partially shut down in the final quarter. (Ruby Vercide / Photoville International)
MANILA, Philippines — In the Kamao-Builders match, first-time semi-finalist NHA Builders dominated the first to third quarters and kept Malacañang-PSC Kamao on the run.
But the Season 5 runner-up team did not lose heart and battled hard stealing the lead in the first three minutes of the last quarter, 63-62.
With the red shirt’s tough offense, the NHA was locked with only four points in the fifth minute of the quarter, and Kamao’s lead rose to nine points, 64-73.
But the Builders did not allow this turn of events, with Marvin Ladia and Alvin Vitug firing successive three’s to tie the score at 76-all.
And the buzzer went off to mark an overtime.
With several key players from both sides put out of the court, NHA’s Antonio Lustestica Jr and Marvin Mercado and Kamao’s Eric Dela Cuesta the ball game got even more intense.
Palace ballers Ian Garrido and Christian Luanzon were also fouled out early in the overtime period.
But Kamao Assistant Coach Raffy Gonzales remained confident his team could make it through.
“Nandoon pa rin talaga ang bawat isa, sa sistema namin at ang puso nila, hindi talaga sila bumitaw hanggang sa huli,” Coach Raffy Gonzales said.
(Everybody was still sticking on our system, their heart, they really did not give up until the end.)
Narayan Das Javier led the Kamao to the overtime with 19 points, including two from beyond the arc, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“Hindi kami naglalaro para sa pangalan namin sa likod, kundi sa charity namin, yung mga batang may cancer,” Javier said.
(We don’t just play for the name on our backs. We play for our chosen charity, the children with cancer.)
And in the Defenders-Cavaliers battle, the Senate team surprised the two-time champion AFP Cavaliers early in the game, ending the first quarter with a 14-point lead, 29-15.
The Defenders maintained a double-digit lead until the final quarter of the match through a run-and-gun offense.
The Senate also hustled on their defense and prevented the soldiers’ main gunners from making shots.
Jeffrey Sanders and Garri Sevilla led the Defenders to the 74-64 win.
Senate Defenders Head Coach Mike Fermin said: “Credit goes to the players. Maganda ang preparation namin going to this game. Maganda ang outcome ng attendance namin. Sina Senator Sonny and Senator Joel, and ang ibang executives namin, maganda participation sa practices. Very vocal sila. Ang ganda, ang sarap mag-ensayo kapag ganoon. Magaan ang pakiramdam ng mga bata going to this game.”
(Credit goes to the players. We had a good preparation going to this game. Our attendance had a good outcome. Senators Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva along with other Senate officials participated well during our practices. They were very vocal. It’s nice to practice with that environment. Our players feel good going to this game.)
With the Kamao’s and Defenders’ wins, the four teams will meet again on Sunday for the deciding games on who will win the slots to the UNTV Cup Season 6 Finals. —Bernard Dadis | UNTV News & Rescue
GAME 1: Malacañang-PSC defeat NHA in overtime, 86-82.
Quarter Scores: 20-28, 32-45, 52-60, 76-76, 86-82
Malacañang-PSC Kamao (86) — N.Javier 19, V. Javier 18, E. Dela Questa 9, J. Jimenez 9, J. Besa 9, R. Abalos 8, I. Garrido 6, C. Luanzon 4, G. Gadong 2, M. Ignario 2
NHA Builders (82) — A. Vitug 24, W. Tibay 17, A. Lustestica 11, M. Mercado 8, J. Alastoy 8, J. Dizon 7, M. Ladia 6, A. Palad 1
GAME 2: Senate defeat AFP, 74-64.
Quarter Scores: 29-15, 51-31, 67-45, 74-64
Senate Defenders (74) — G. Sevilla 14, M. Legaspi 13, J. Sanders 11, J. Mangaran 9, M. Omega 8, H. Ng 6, M. Malaga 5, E. Villanueva 5, C. Andaya 3
AFP Cavaliers (64) — R. Almerol 15, J. Lumongsod 13, B. Bautista 12, W. Sergio 7, J. Quiambao 6, R. Araneta 6, W. Casulla 5