Games Sunday (Pasig City Sports Center): 3 p.m. – NHA vs AFP; 4:30 p.m. – Senate vs PNP
ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) try to seal another title showdown as they go for series-clinching wins on Sunday in the 7th UNTV Cup at the Pasig City Sports Center.
Unlike in a thrilling 78-76 win over the National Housing Authority Builders in the opener of their best-of-three semis series, the AFP Cavaliers target a hot start in their 3 p.m. duel in the hope of scoring a trouble-free win this time around.
That’s also the mission of the PNP Responders when they clash with the defending champions Senate Defenders in their 4:30 p.m. encounter in the event organized by UNTV president and CEO Daniel Razon for public servants.
Led by former University of the East player Ollan Olivar Omiping and Jerry Boy Saracho, the Responders gained a headstart in their own semis series by eking out a scary 79-74 win.
PNP and two-time champion AFP met in the finals two years ago with the Responders finally nailing their first championship after three failed tries, including against the Judiciary Magis three years back.
For their part, the Cavaliers managed to squeak past the Builders of coach Bennet Palad through the heroics of Jerry Lumongsod.
Ex-Letran star Boyet Bautista topscored for the Cavaliers with 20 points but it was Lumungsod who turned the game around in their favor with two quick steals that twice brought him to the stripe where he split four charities for the game-winning points.
For the Defenders of coach Mike Fermin to extend the series to a deciding Game 3, they have to find ways to limit production of Omiping, who sizzled for 27 points, including 11 in the payoff period.
The chosen charity of the champion team, according to Razon, will receive a tax-free P4 million prize while the runner-up’s own foundation gets P2 million.