DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) swept Armed Forces of the Philippines in their best-of-three title series to win the 8th UNTV Cup on Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ed Rivera and Ralph Lansang produced huge numbers once again as the DENR Warriors withstood the AFP Cavaliers’ repeated rallies to prevail in Game Two, 99-91, and become the first newcomer to win the tournament for public servants since Judiciary won the inaugural event eight years ago.
In a follow-up to his 15-point performance in the team’s 90-73 win in the series opener on March 1, Rivera fired 24 points, including 12 in the payoff period, to emerge as the Finals MVP.
Lansang scored 22 and Ryan Abanes added 20.
Former Letran star Boyet Bautista led AFP with 29 points.
The Warriors’ chosen charity – the Environmental Heroes Foundation Incorporated – will receive a tax-free P4 million prize from UNTV headed by Dr. Daniel S. Razon.
AFP Educational Benefits System Office, the charity of AFP, got P2 million while Provident Fund Association Inc, got P1 million as NHA placed third.
Meanwhile, the PITC Global Traders won the 3x3 side event, beating PhilHealth Plus to clinch P100,000 for their charity.
A total of P10 million was distributed to various institutions with the 5th to 12th placers giving P100,000 each to their charities.
Sharing the limelight with the Warriors was NHA’s Marvin Mercado who emerged as the season’s MVP aside from winning the Defensive Player award. He also led the Mythical Selection that included AFP’s Darwin Cordero, PhilHealth’s Jonathan Aldave, DENR’s Melvin Bangal and Judiciary’s Chester Tolomia.
Aldave, a teammate of Bautista at Letran, was the tournament’s Scoring Champion.
DENR 99 - Rivera 24, Lansang 22, Abanes 20, Gamboa 11, Parreño 6, Atablanco 5, Ayson 5, Bangal 4, Mamac 2.
AFP 91 - Bautista 29, Almerol 17, Lumongsod 15, Cordero 11, Pascual 7, Tan 7, Sergio 3, Araneta 2.
Quarterscores: 20-13; 49-34; 73-67; 99-91.