ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) became the first three-time champion of the UNTV Cup by sweeping Senate in their best-of-three title series on Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Getting stellar performances from Jerry Lumongsod, Darwin Cordero and Boyet Bautista, the AFP Cavaliers ousteadied the Senate Defenders, 88-78, in Game Two in a fitting finish to another dominant showing in the tournament for public servants.
Lumongsod erupted for 26 points and had three assists, three steals and a rebound to clinch the Finals MVP award in the seventh season of UNTV Cup. He scored 14 points in the team’s 76-73 win in Game One.
Also shining for the Cavaliers were Darwin Cordero with 19 points and former Letran star Boyet Bautista with 18.
Jeffrey Quiambao added 11 points aside from making life miserable for the usually high-scoring Garri Sevilla who finished with a paltry five points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field.
AFP’s title win was worth P4 million to its beneficiary – the AFP’s Education Benefit Systems Office .
The Cavaliers, who also triumphed in 2014 and 2016, did not go home empty-handed as UNTV President and CEO Daniel Razon handed them the P500,000 prize while the dethroned champions got P300,000.
Kythe Foundation, Tahanang Mapagpala Immaculada Concepcion, Inc. and Bahay Pangarap Foundation, Inc. – the chosen beneficiaries of the Defenders – will share the P2 million.
“Everybody gave their all but the Cavaliers just played much harder so I congratulate them for a job well done,” said Razon. “Ang paggawa ng mabuti ay hindi magbubunga ng masama. So to all the teams who took part in the tournament, congratulations.”
Also present during the game witnessed by close to 10,000 fans were UNTV executive Gerry Panghulan, Senators Joel Villanueva and Sonny Angara, Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado, Jr., Major Gen. Ericksson Gloria, Brig. Gen. Arnold Fernandez, Col. Taharudin Piang Ampatuan, Col. Dennis Macalintal Senate Secretary Myra Marie Villarica.
The Cavaliers trailed early but got into the offensive groove in the second quarter that saw them take the lead 39-37 before controlling the tempo of the game to prevail to the delight of their officials and backers.
AFP 88 – Lumongsod 26, Cordero 19, Bautista 18, Quiambao 11, Tan 5, Casulla 4, Pascual 3, Almerol 2.
Senate 78 – Sanders 13, Mangaran 12, Ng 12, Legaspi 11, Balboa 10, Malaga 9, Omega 6, Sevilla 5.
Quarterscores: 14-18; 39-37; 62-52; 88-78.