SENATE and Malacañang-Philippine Sports Commission begin what promises to be a heated and emotional championship series when they clash on Sunday in the 6th UNTV Cup finals at the Pasig City Sports Center.
Game 1 is set at 4:30 p.m. with both teams aching to gain a headstart in their best-of-three title series after dispatching their higher seeded rivals in their respective semis series two weeks ago in the event organized by UNTV president and CEO Daniel Razon for the country’s public servants.
The Senate Defenders booked their first trip to the finals with an 86-80 win over No. 1 and twice-to-beat Armed Forces of the Philippines Cavaliers while the Palace Kamao leaned on the hot-shooting of former top collegiate player Erick dela Cuesta and Christian Luanzon to beat the second-ranked NHA Builders, 88-82.
The Kamao are out to make amends after losing to the Cavaliers last season.
Apart from earning P500,000, the champion team will reward its chosen charity the top prize of P4 million while the runner up gets P300,000 and P2 million to its own charity.
Expected to lead the Defenders are former PBA player Jeff Sanders, Marlon Legaspi and Harley Ng – the same players responsible for the team’s resurgence.
AFP and NHA clash in one-game face-off for third place with the winner earning the chance to donate P1 million to its own chosen charity while the loser will be giving P500,000.
The third and fourth placers also get P200,000 and P100,000, respectively.
Game 2, according to Razon, will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as they expect a bigger crowd.
The deciding Game 3 – if needed – is also scheduled at the Big Dome.