Senate Defenders rout PNP for UNTV Cup 7 final slot
Posted on: February 26th, 2019
The teams facing off in the UNTV Cup Season 7 Finals are now complete.
This is after Season 6 champion Senate Defenders routed PNP Responders, 75-60, in a tense do-or-die game in the Best of Three Semi-final series held at the Pasig City Sports Center on Sunday (February 24).
Garry Sevilla and Marlon Legazpi lifted the Senate to victory after firing a combined 42 points, earning the Best Players of the Game title.
The Defenders controlled the momentum of the entire game with their tight defense plays, blocking the Responders from firing any explosive points.
Senate’s ‘twin towers’, Legazpi and Rommel Balboa, also used their height advantage to dominate the rebounds, assists, steals and blocks against PNP.
The Defenders kept a tight watch over the perimeter area, forcing the Responders to make 25 turnovers and limit one of its key players, Ollan Omiping, to bucket only seven points.
“We took it from game 2 na sabi naming we were able to limit, hindi namin na-shut down. Naka-score di ba? So, sabi namin, ang usapan collective effort from everybody. So, hats off sa players again,” Senate Defenders head coach Mike Fermin said after the game.
“Hindi lamang siya, pati si Sta. Cruz at si Tolentino. So we were able to do that, siguro 50 percent ng offense nila, na-stop namin, na-limit namin,” he added.
The Senate is facing a challenge of defending their championship because no team has ever clinched a back-to-back championship in the history of the charity league, organized by UNTV.
“Pipilitin namin. ‘Yun ‘yung nagiging motivation namin eh na alam naming wala pang nakaka-back-to-back,” Fermin said.
“We will work harder and prepare harder para makuha namin,” he vowed.
Senator Sonny Angara, who is among the star players of Senate Defenders, also shared that the team is drawing inspiration from this challenge to train and prepare more for their upcoming match against UNTV Cup top seed AFP Cavaliers.
“’Yun ang lagi naming sinasabi sa boys na hindi pa nagagawa ‘yan para ma-inspire sila ng konti. Let’s try to make history. Kami, sabi ko nga dito sa laban sa AFP, medyo under dog kami dahil malalakas ang AFP. Halos walang talo ‘yan during the eliminations, saka sa quarter finals at sa semi-finals. kaya kailangan on top game kami bago namin matalo ang AFP,” Angara said. – Robie de Guzman (with reports from Bernard Dadis)