AFP and Senate to go all-out at UNTV Cup Finals Game 2

Posted on: March 11th, 2019
A loose battle during Game 1 of the Best of 3 Finals between the AFP Cavaliers and Senate Defenders. (Rey Vercide / Photoville International)

For AFP Cavaliers and Senate Defenders, UNTV Cup Season 7 Finals on Monday (March 11) is going to be a do-or-die Game 2 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Though the AFP is ahead by one game, they already want to end the series at Game 2 and claim their 3rd regular season championship trophy in the league for public service.

AFP Cavaliers head coach, Corporal Cornelio “Sonny” Manucat III said, “Sabi ko nga sa mga players, kailangan ibigay na lahat for Game 2, huwag nang isipin ang Game 3… since Day 1 nitong season, nag-usap kami na pilitin namin makuha ulit this year,” he said.

“Pero pinaka-importante kasi noon, sabi ko nga sa kanila, para makatulong kami sa beneficiaries namin [AFP Educational Benefit System Office] sa mga nangangailangan na fellow soldiers, pang-aral ng mga anak nila. Kaya medyo high-moral yung team, second lang yung individual na pwede ma-achieve. Una talaga yung makatulong sa beneficiary namin,” added Manucat.

Despite defeating the Senate in their first encounter, the AFP Cavaliers are not underestimating the Defenders.

“We know naman na ang defending champ [ay ang] Senate. Kami, ngayon lang ulit nakatungtong sa finals so yung pressure, napakataas sobra. Kaya, kumbaga ano lang talaga — puso, kung sino yung mas gustong manalo, kung sino yung gustong makatulong para sa beneficiaries, talaga yun na lang. May the best team win na lang talaga kasi hindi rin ganoon kadali makalaban ang Senate, dadaan ka talaga sa butas ng karayom,” power forward, Wilfredo Casulla Jr said.

As for the Senate Defenders, Game 2 is a now or never situation. And even though they came from an upset loss they want to remain optimistic of the chance that is left in this final series.

Assistant coach, Charles Fermin said, “Out of 40 minutes na laro, 38 minutes eh dominated namin di ba? Siguro talagang ganoon ang basketball, hanggang hindi tapos ang 40 minutes o overtime period eh hindi pa sa iyo ang ball game. Masakit pero iyon ang reality ng basketball. So, move on tayo, prepare ulet tayo sa Game 2 sa Araneta.”

On the other hand, Senate’s power forward, Ryan Mangaran said, “Bago lumabas ng court, binitawang salita nina Coach at Senator,’Hindi pa ito ang huling laro natin, may pagkakataon pa tayong lumaban sa Game 2. Ito ang sinasabing series eh, mayroon pa tayong pagkakataon bumawi sa Game 2 at Game 3.’”

Although this AFP-Senate battle is nearing its last salvo, both teams are looking beyond the competition.

Senator Joel Villanueva said, “Alam mo every Sunday, yung sacrifices that we have to make, yung mga committments namin, we give it up, even family, even yung mga events namin sa family… we try to, hanggang kaya, na-i-cancel or i-reset para lang makapunta sa UNTV [Cup] dahil, una, for the love of the game and at the same time, we know yung noble intention nitong liga na ito na makatulong sa beneficiaries.”

“Siyempre iba yun, eh, it’s something money cannot buy… kakaiba eh it’s one of a kind… kaya we laud the efforts and kudos to the leadership of UNTV Cup especially kay Kuya Daniel Razon na nakaisip nito. And then yung camaraderie namin dito sa Senado, kita nyo naman yung closeness and yung paggiging open namin sa isa’t isa, para talagang tunay na magkakapatid kami dito sa Senate Basketball Team,” he added.

“Yung pag-sali pa lang namin dito, that will be one of the most memorable events sa buhay ko considering na we’re playing and we are helping. Just like sabi nga Kuya Daniel na ‘Ang paggawa ng mabuti ay hindi magbubunga ng masama. So, ito yung basic example ng phrase na iyon”, AFP Cavaliers pioneer player SGT Alvin Zuñiga said.

True to UNTV Cup’s advocacy as the league of public servants, attendees can start availing services of different participating government agencies organized by the UNTV Action Center as soon as the coliseum gate opens at 4PM.

The agencies that will render public services are: Social Security System (SSS), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), PAG-IBIG Fund, NBI, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost).

The awarding of donations to the teams’ beneficiaries will be held during Game 2’s program.

Should the AFP Cavaliers end the series, their beneficiary will get P4,000,000 and Senate Defenders’ charity will have P2,000,000 unless the series will be extended to Game 3.

Other team’s beneficiaries will also be present for awarding which will be receiving P1,000,000 for 3rd place (NHA Builders), P500,000 for 4th place (PNP Responders).

And P100,000 each for the remaining team 10 teams that did not qualify for the Final 4.

UNTV Cup Season 7 Finals Game 2 will be aired live on UNTV Channel 37, Monday at 9pm. — Raymond Lacsa

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