Senate Defenders complete finals sweep of Malacanang for maiden UNTV Cup title
The Senate Defenders, led by co-captains Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva, celebrate their first-ever championship in the UNTV Cup.

SENATOR Sonny Angara underlined the power of teamwork after the Senate Defenders completed a sweep of the Malacañang-Philippine Sports Commission Kamao in the UNTV Cup Finals by winning Game 2, 84-64, on Monday night.

Angara said the emphatic victory in the best-of-three finals over a formidable Kamao side was a testament to the teamwork the Defenders developed in the duration of the tournament under the baton of coach Mike Fermin.

“We played as a team and I think that was the key,” said Angara, who is also the chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the country’s ruling body for the sport.

Angara, who was co-skipper of the team with fellow senator Joel Villanueva, even recalled that during the last UNTV Cup, the Senate Defenders didn’t even win a single game.

“Nakuha sa pagpupursige at sa pagtitiyaga. Sinabi namin sa sarili namin na next season, gagalingan at magpopokus talaga kami upang ma-execute ang system of plays ni Coach Mike,” said Angara, also the vice chair of the Senate committee on sports.

The former Aurora congressman, of course, knows whereof he speaks.

He was one of the key players in an SBP-formed bid team that enabled the Philippines to win the right to be the lead host of the 2023 Fiba World Cup alongside Japan and Indonesia.

As expected the troika of Gary Sevilla, Jeff Sanders and Marlon Legaspi shattered Malacañang’s defense time and again with their inside plays on the way to winning their first-ever title in grand fashion.

The Defenders won a cash prize of P4 million which will be distributed to their three chosen charities – Kythe Foundation Inc, Tanghalang Mapagpala Immaculada Concepcion Inc, and Bahay Pangarap Inc. They won P500,000 for themselves while the Kamao settled for P300,000. Malacañang’s own charity will receive P2 million.
The scores:
SENATE 84 – Sanders 20, Legaspi 17, Sevilla 15,  Mangaran 11, Ng 7, Angara 7, Balboa 5, Villanueva 2.
MALACAÑANG-PSC 64 – Besa 11, Go 10, Dela Cuesta 9, Luanzon 8, Jimenez 8, Javier 6, Ignario 6, Gadong 4, Garrido 2.
Quarterscores: 17-21, 39-34, 59-50, 84-64.

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