One of DENR’s key factors to victory was their tough defense, challenging the shots of Agriculture Food Masters, forcing them to commit more turnovers.
Season 7 third placer NHA Builders failed to defeat the defending champion AFP Cavaliers during their face off last Thursday with final score 86-84.
It will be recalled that the Cavaliers have beaten the Builders in the best of three semifinals series last season.
Former Letran Knights standouts Boyet Bautista and Air Man Jerry Lumongsod were hailed as Best Players of the Game with 17 points and 19 points a piece including a crucial 3-point shot from Lumongsod in the final one minute and 38 seconds for the AFP to get the lead, 83-80.
In the first quarter, the NHA Builders were ahead by 7 points against AFP, 19-12, led by Alvin Vitug who contributed 11 points that early.
But the AFP Cavaliers quickly recovered in the 2nd quarter and tied the game at 37 points.
And in the 3rd quarter, the AFP Cavaliers took the lead, 64-61.
The last period was a neck-to-neck bout as the games have tied many times.
NHA dominated the boards by 51 compared to 20 of AFP while the men in uniform assisted more, 14-9.
“It’s a hard-fought game, alam namin talaga na yung NHA malakas talaga yan since before dahil kumpleto rin sila. Siguro breaks of the game, sinuwerte lang kami noong huli,” AFP Cavaliers Corporal Sonny Manucat said.
NHA Builders Head Coach Benete Palad revealed, “Breaks din eh, hindi nagpapasok ang tira mga namin medyo napapabayan yung mga fastbreak nila, yung opensa nila pumasok yung mga three points. Medyo sinuwerte sila, overall maganda naman nilalaro ng players ko.”
In the other game, the rookie team DENR Warriors stayed undefeated after a triumphant bout over the Agriculture Food Masters, 94-85.
The Food Masters were leading over the DENR Warriors, in the first quarter and in 2nd quarter.
But in the 2nd half the DENR Warriors started to turn the game to their side as they took the lead at the end of the third period.
Aside from the tight defense of DENR, the bench players have stepped up too showing the depth of Warriors line up against the Food Masters.
“Sinabihan ko lang mga players ko na we have to remenber na we are playing as a team, if we continue individually tatambakan talaga tayo. Good thing, the team responded,” DENR Warriors Head Coach Dir. Norlito Eneran expressed.
“Noong nag-run na yung DENR ay nataranta na yung mga bata. Nawala na yung composure. Pero we lost to a better team,”Agriculture Food Masters Head Coach Rodney Santos said.
Ryan Abanes and Desiderio Ayson shined as the Best Players of the Game with 23 points and 18 points respectively.
Meanwhile, Malacañang-PSC Kamao toppled the PhilHealth Plus with a 98-91 victory.
With this win, the Kamao now holds a 5-1-win loss record.
“Noong first half, wala kami depensa, binigay naming laro kaya ang tapos ng score ng first half 47-all. Sinabi ko lang sa dug out, Guys hindi yan laro natin. Kailangan nating dumipensa ng maayos, kailangan nating magsakrapisyo kung gusto nating manalo,” Malacañang-PSC Kamao Head Coach Raffy Gonzalez revealed.
Next Sunday, December 01, the Malacañang-PSC Kamao will face PITC Global Traders in the main game of the triple header while the AFP Cavaliers will face former 2-time champion Judiciary Magis in the first game and the Agriculture Food Masters will take on the NHA Builders after.
Games will still be played at San Juan Knights Gym live starting at 2PM with telecast, webcast and live streaming at UNTV Cup’s Facebook and YouTube accounts. — Bernard Dadis
GAME 1: Malacañang-PSC Kamao def. PhilHealth Plus, 98-91
Malacañang-PSC 98 – Dela Cuesta 20, Antonio 16, Javier 15, Besa 11, Jimenez 11, Roque 8, Javier 6, Punzalan 4, Gadong 3, Garrido 2, Ignario 2