UNTV Cup Season 6 Finals
Looking to avenge their finals defeat last season, Malacañang-PSC Kamao aims to grab the upper hand against the impressive Senate Defenders as Game 1 of the much-anticipated UNTV Cup Season 6 Finals begins this Sunday at Pasig City Sports Complex.
Entering the final four as underdogs, both teams withstood their twice-to-beat disadvantage to march onto the finals.
Malacañang-PSC came off a pulsating 88-82 win against the gritty National Housing Authority (NHA) Builders in the do-or-die semifinals last February 18 at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.
Former Alaska Aces forward Eric Dela Cuesta led the run for Kamao as he put up 22 points, four boards, three dishes and huge six steals. Veteran playmaker Visnu Das Javier added 21 points, two rebounds and a steal to help Kamao get their second finals stint.
“We know that we’re not a strong team. It’s just our system that makes us win every game,” said Kamao Head Coach Raffy Gonzales.
Moreover, after a disappointing outing in season 5, Senate Defenders are looking to continue their Cinderella run as they enter their first ever finals appearance since joining the league in 2013.
The Defenders put up an inspiring performance against two-time champions Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Cavaliers after a hard-earned 86-80 triumph to secure the finals berth.
Four players from Senate scored in double digits as Marlon Legaspi put up 18 points, five rebounds and two steals while former UAAP stalwart Harley Ng added 16 points, pulled off five boards, two steals and two blocks.
Jeffrey Sanders tallied 15 points and five rebounds while Rommel Balboa had 13 points and eight rebounds.
“We really told ourselves that we will bounce back (from last season). We will give it our all — work, play defense, teamwork. To God be the glory!,” said Senator Joel Villanueva.
Game 2 of the finals is scheduled on March 12 at the historic Smart-Araneta Coliseum and if necessary, the final game will be held on March 19 also at the Big Dome.
UNTV Cup is the first ever charity basketball league in the Philippines which aims to unite public servants to play for a cause led by the man behind it, BMPI-Wish FM CEO, Dr. Daniel Razon, with the help of the league’s primary sponsor, Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano, the presiding minister of the Members Church of God International. — John Kenneth Jaramilla | UNTV News & Rescue