DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) found an opportunity to strike early and wasted no time to clobber the injury-hit defending champion Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), 90-73, in Game One of their best-of-three title series in the 8th UNTV Cup on Sunday at Paco Arena, Manila.
Without top players Wilfredo Casulla and Jeffrey Quiambao and veteran Eugene Tan playing through pain, the AFP Cavaliers proved to be an easy prey as the DENR Warriors used the occasion to score almost at will in getting back at their elimination encounter.
The Warriors are on the cusp of winning the title on their first try in the event organized by UNTV president Daniel Razon for public servants, with charity of the winning team getting a tax-free P4 million prize.
The Warriors tool to complete a series sweep on Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
DENR defended tightly and rotated the ball so well that it posted an impressive 50 percent shooting from the field, making 31 of 62 tries with five players finishing in double digits.
Meantime, National Housing Authority, getting big game from Alvin Vitug, clinched third place by beating Judiciary, 74-67, winning P1 million for charity.
Advancing to the semis in the 3x3 event are PhilHealth, SSS Kabalikat, Ombudsman and PITC.
Ralph Lansang once again led DENR’s well balanced attack with 20 points apart from grabbing 9 boards while Ryan Abanes was a big revelation with 14 points.
Ed Rivera, a hot candidate for the MVP plum, added 15 points aside from providing the intangibles while Desederio Ayson scored 14 and Melvin Bangal added 13.
DENR 90 – Lansang 20, Rivera 15, Abanes 14, Ayson 14, Bangal 13, Atablanco 4, Gamboa 4, Parreño 3, Garcia 3, Mamac 0, Calungcagin 0.
AFP 73 – Almerol 19, Lumongsod 10, Cordero 13, Rosopa 9, Tan 8, Bautista 7, Sergio 5, Pascual 4, Zuniga 0, Araneta 0.
Quarterscores: 28-17; 43-34; 65-54; 90-73.