FILE PHOTO: The PNP-Ombudsman match during the elimination round of the UNTV Cup Executive Face Off. On July 30, 2018 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, they will face each other again for the championship match. (Richard Cortez / Photoville International)
The PNP Responders overpower the number four Senate Sentinels in the semifinals of the UNTV Cup Executive Face off Off-Season at the Pasig City Sports Center on Sunday.
Senate senior cagers tried to edge out in the first quarter by aggressively setting up a 5-0 run in the first three and a half minutes of the ballgame and recording four advances in the first canto, 11-16.
But the charts flipped in the second quarter when PNP changed its strategy from man to man to zone defense, deploying Chief Supt. Philip Philips to throw two three-point shots, scoring 35-31 against the Senate.
“Medyo nanggigigil sila. Sabi ko enjoy the game, mag-focus tayo, gawin natin yung dapat nating gawin sa court kung ano yung iniensayo natin yun gawin natin,” PNP Responders head coach SPO2 Alfred Suarez said.
(My players were so eager. I told them to just enjoy the game, to focus and do what we have to do as what we had practiced.)
After maintaining the rhythm and blustering an 8-0 run, the PNP gained a 20-point lead, 55-35, almost three minutes left in the third quarter.
It further pounded the Senate in the last quarter until the final buzzer sounded, finishing the game with 78-61 score.
Superintendents Anthony Padua and Voltaire Rivera led the PNP with their combined 32 points and the latter’s 25 rebounds and 10 blocks.
The PNP bullishly advanced to the finals as they are out to make amends after their junior counterparts failed to defend their title in the regular UNTV Cup which was won by the Senate Sentinels.
The Ombudsman Graft Busters, meanwhile, needed an overtime to curtail the Judiciary Magis’ attempt to force a do or die game in the play offs after clobbering the latter in the semis, 76-73.
This is despite the incomplete lineup of the Ombudsman after its ace player, Atty. Nikki Laure stepped out of the hard court due to his injuries.
“Kasi nawala sa akin si Atty. Nikki Laure na sa anim na panalo ko, tatlong beses nag-best player. So as you can see siya talaga pinupuntahan namin sa opensa namin. So noong wala sya, wala si Atty. Sasa, nawala pa si Atty. Tamano injury pa… hindi ko iniisip na abot kami ng finals gawa ng kulang nga kami,” Graft Busters Head Coach Ricky Alcantara said.
(I lost the presence of Atty. Nikki Laure that on our 6 wins, 3 of which Atty. Laure was hailed as the best player. So as you can see, he is really our go-to guy in terms of scoring. When he was out, Atty. Sasa and Atty. Tamano were also out… I realy did not expect that we will reach the finals because we are undermanned.)
Atty. Jorge Espinal led the Ombudsman with 22 points, along with Atty. Armando Sanchez Jr. who bucketed 14 points.
The PNP and the Ombudsman will duel for the title on July 30 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
GAME 1: PNP defeats Senate, 78-61
Quarter Scores: 11-16, 35-31, 57-45, 78-61
Box Scores: 78
A. Padua 21, J. De Mesa 14, V. Rivera 11, P. Limbauan 11, P. Philipps 10, P. Martirez 6, R. Cejas 3, I. Dickson 2
Box Scores: 61
E. Villanueva 18, W. Tan 16, R. Endaya 10, J. Flaminiano 9, J. Angara 8
GAME 2: Ombudsman defeats Judiciary, 76-73
Quarter Scores: 17-13, 37-30, 46-52, 66-66, 76-73
Ombudsman Graft Busters
Box Scores: 76
J. Espinal 22, A. Atienza 17, W. Layson 14, A. Sanchez 14, R. Casal 6, R. Rafael 3
Box Scores: 73
J. Yabut 34, R. Paras 13, M. Tomacruz 8, J. Marquez 6, J. Villanueva 5, D. Sevilla 3, J. Montesa 2, R. Bacolor 2