ARMED Forces of the Philippines got off to a strong start, downin Malacañang-Philippine Sports Commission, 98-87, to secure the top seeding at the close of the elimination round in the 7th UNTV Cup at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.
Behind Boyet Bautista and Dave Cordero, the AFP Cavaliers rallied to a 28-16 first- quarter lead and held on to finish the two-round elims with an 8-1 win-loss record.
Cordero led the two-time champions with 22 points, including eight in the payoff period.
The 5-foot-7 Bautista wound up with 19 points, while Fred Casulla added 15 points, four rebounds and two blocks.
For finishing 1-2 in the elims, AFP and Philippine National Police (7-2) advanced outright to the semis. The Kamao slipped to No. 3.
Malacañang-PSC, defending champion Senate, PITC and National Housing Authority will play another round robin starting on Sunday with the top two finishers joining the early semifinalists.
AFP’s tough defensive stand in the payoff period put to waste the 31-point explosion of former Philippine team pool member Erick dela Cuesta.
The chosen charity of the champion team in the event organized by UNTV president and Daniel Razon will get P4 million with the runner up’s charity taking P2 million.
The PITC Global Traders wound up fifth in the annual event for public servants after outlasting the NHA Builders, 81-78, thanks to the 21-point performance of Haddi Porto.