Sotto, Hermida lead NLEX past Media Quest in basketball finals of MVP Olympics
NLEX players and officials celebrate the championship. Snow Badua

ERVIN Sotto and Borgie Hermida delivered clutch baskets as Metro North Tollways Corporation (NLEX) pounded Media Quest (Philippine Star-TV5), 90-80, in the finals to bag its first ever men’s basketball crown in the Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) Olympics at the Meralco Gym on Friday.

Sotto, a 2004 seventh overall pick of the Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs in the PBA, scored 20 points to pace the Adonis Tierra-mentored team, which also included NLEX Road Warriors coach Boyet Fernandez in the roster.

Fernandez, though, was not able to finish the game as he had to rush to the Smart Araneta Coliseum to join his NLEX team, which eventually lost to the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, 94-121.

Former Air21 Express guard Nino Marquez led Media Quest with 29 points and six rebounds, and even tried to rally his team from a 20-point deficit midway through the game.

“We just did what we have to do. I just relied on our veterans kaya hindi sila masyadong nadala sa physicality ng Media Quest. Otherwise, it could have been a close match,” said Tierra, who was personally congratulated by MNTC and NLEX president Rodrigo Franco right after the game.

Meanwhile, the underdog PLDT squad finished third in the tournament after asserting its dominance over defending champion Meralco, 74-63.

See video of highlights of game:

The PLDT boys have never tasted a victory against Meralco since the MVP Cup’s inception in 2010, but with the arrival of new head coach Bong Ramos, PLDT defeated the Bolts twice this season, including a 72-64 win in the eliminations.

The MVP Cup is a bi-annual tournament which pits employees of different companies under the guidance of Pangilinan in different sports like basketball, volleyball, chess, track and field among others.

The scores:

MNTC Tollways 90 – Sotto 20, Pangilinan 15, Hermida 10, Villarias 10, Arao 10, Reyes 8, Del Rosario 6, Vitug 6, B. Fernandez 3, Calomot 2, Tayao 0, Barret 0, Esmeria 0, A. Bautista 0, Guttierez 0

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Media Quest 80 – Marquez 29, Morante 11, Guiyab 9, Bondoc 9, Coquilla 8, Epres 7, Maconocido 7,  Geocada 0, Bustos 0, Casano 0

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