Malacanang downs DOJ to take early group lead as Senate makes winning debut in UNTV Cup
NHA Builders' John Derrick Dizon (No. 1) goes for a basket against Judiciary’s Vincent John Puno during their UNTV Cup game Sunday at the Pasig City Sports Center. The Builders won, 95-85.

MALACANANG-Philippine Sports Commission rolled to its second straight win even as Senate nabbed a winning debut in the 6th UNTV Cup held over the weekend at the Pasig City Sports Center.

With Erick dela Cuesta and Ian Garrido presiding over the team’s second quarter splurge, the Malacañang-PSC Kamao overpowered the Department of Justice Boosters, 91-75, to take the early Group B lead in the tournament organized by UNTV for the country’s public servants.

A one-time star player of the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL), Dela Cuesta scored the bulk of his team-high 21 points in the second quarter that saw them outscore the Justice Boosters, 24-15, for a 41-30 lead and never looked back.

Garrido, who made a name during his NCAA days at San Sebastian College, chipped in 16 points as he made up for the absence of former UST star Christian Luanzon.

The Senate Defenders, on the other hand, got big games from former PBA players Gilbert Malabanan and Rob Wainwright to beat Bureau of Fire Protection Firefighters, 88-81, in the lone Group A match of the tournament offering P4 million to the chosen charity of the champion team.

Meanwhile, National Housing Authority recovered its bearings just in time to outlast Judiciary, 95-85, giving coach Benet Palad his second win in three games.

Malabanan led four Senate players in double figures with 22 points while Marlon Legaspi paced the Firefighters with 21.

Alvin Vitug starred for the NHA Buillders with 22 points as he engaged former Ginebra player Chester Tolomia in a shootout in the third quarter.

Games on Sunday

(Pasig City Sports Center)

2 p.m. – AFP vs COA

3:30 p.m. – Ombudsman vs DA

5 p.m. – Senate vs GSIS



Group A – PNP (2-0), AFP (1-0), Senate (1-0), DOH (1-1), COA (0-1), GSIS (0-1), BFP (0-2).

Group B – Malacanang (2-0), Judiciary (1-1), DOJ (1-1), NHA (2-1), DA (1-1), Ombudsman (0-1), PDEA (0-2).

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