Two-time champion, AFP Cavaliers, took down Season 6 champions, Senate Defenders, in Game 1 of the best of 3 series of UNTV Cup at the Pasig City Sports Center on Sunday.
The Cavaliers’ key in the come-from-behind victory was their patience in demolishing the gap through tough defense and effective offensive plays.
The Defenders’ lead went up to 14 points in the first half.
The AFP was trailing behind Senate all throughout the game with 11 point-Senate lead from the 3rd quarter until the 1:29 of the 4th quarter, when they took the lead via Eugene Tan’s 3 points shot, 74-73.
Jerry Lumongsod was hailed the best player of the game who made the crucial three-point-shot in the last 3:24 of the game when the momentum favored them cutting the Senate lead to just 1 point, 69-70.
Lumongsod was also the one who partly-sealed the game after connecting two crucial free throws, giving the Cavaliers to seal in a 3-point-lead with just 10.4 seconds left in the game.
All-in-all the BPG had 14 points, 2 rebounds and 1 block.
Another important contributor was Eugene Tan, who made a significant 18 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals.
Among the crucial plays of the game was Tan’s steal in the last 10 seconds of the game when the Senate Defenders had the chance to tie the game.
Darwin Cordero also handed in 16 points while Boyet Bautista had 15 points.
AFP Cavaliers Head Coach Corporal Cornelio “Sonny” Manucat said, “Sabi ko nga sa kanila never give up, di ba? Attitude! Sabi ko two-time champion tayo, nandito na tayo sa finals hindi natin pwede pabayaan. All my players paid off. Sabi ko continue yung systema natin, yung game plan natin. Hopefully, we paid off.”
“Credit to Senate team yung defense nila noong first half, amazing. Okay? Nakuha nila yung first half namin pero at least yung second half naka-recover kami. Sinuwerte.”
[I told to my players not to give up. Attitude! We are two-time champions, we are already in the finals, we should not take this for granted. All my players paid off. I told them to continue our system, our game plan. Hopefully, we paid off.]
Meanwhile, Senate Defenders was led by Jeffry Sanders with 24 points, Garri Sevilla with 18 points and Marlon Legaspi with 10 points.
Senate Defenders Head Coach Mike Fermin recounted, “Instead na kami ang nag-build ng tempo ng game, sumunod kami sa tempo nila. Eh, nag-slow down sila, kami nag-slowdown din. Noong first half, tumatakbo kami that’s why we were able to build comfortable lead pero yun na nga, lapses on the end game.”
(Instead of dictating the tempo of the game, we followed AFP’s tempo. When they slowed down, we slowed down, too. In the first half, we were running that’s why we were able to build a comfortable lead. But then again, we had lapses on the end game.)
In the other game, the NHA won 3rd place, taking the P1,000,000 prize for team’s chosen beneficiary, NHA Provident Funds, after defeating the PNP Responders.
PNP, on the other hand, got P500,000 prize for team’s chosen beneficiary: the Public Assistance for Rescue, Disaster and Support Services (PARDSS) Foundation International, Inc.
Watch the Game 2 of the best of three finals of the League of Public Servants’ 7th Season, on March 11, 2019, Monday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum and on UNTV channel, Facebook and website.
— Bernard Dadis / UNTV News and Rescue / with contributions from Raymond Lacsa
NHA (73) — A. Vitug 31, M. Mercado 16, J. Dizon 11, W. Tibay 9, A. Lustestica 6
PNP (70) — A. Tolentino 21, O. Omiping 15, H. Sta. Cruz 9, R. Cabrera 7, J. Misola 5, R. Villanueva 5, R. Abaya 2, R. Decena 2, R. Serrano 2, A. Bayabao 2
Quarterscores: 11-18, 39-35, 57-52, 73-70
AFP (76) — E. Tan 18, D. Cordero 16, B. Bautista 15, J. Lumongsod 14, R. Pascual 6, W. Casulla 5, J. Quiambao 2
SENATE (73) — J. Sanders 24, G. Sevilla 18, M. Legaspi 10, J. Mangaran 8, R. Balboa 7, H. Ng 4, M. Omega 2