DENR Warriors rout AFP Cavaliers in Game 1 of UNTV Cup title series

Posted on: March 4th, 2020

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Warriors are now on the cusp of winning the UNTV Cup Season 8 title after routing the defending champion Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Cavaliers, 90-73, in Game 1 of their best-of-three championship series on Sunday at Paco Arena in Manila.

Warriors dominated the ball game from the first quarter and successfully thwarted attempts by the Cavaliers to block their shots in the third quarter.

In the last quarter, the seasoned Cavaliers still tried to pump in more points with top players Romeo Almerol, Darwin Cordero and Jerry Lumongsod.

But the rookie team Warriors, led by Coach Norlito Eneran, defended tightly and rotated the ball so well that it posted impressive scores from the field to finish the game in double digits.

DENR’s Ralph Lansang and Ryan Abanes were picked as best players of the game after scoring 20 and 14 points, respectively.

Ed Rivera added 15 points to DENR’s score while Desederio Ayson Jr. provided 14 points and Melvin Bangal with 13 points.

Coach Eneran admitted the team had to work doubly hard in order to clinch the title on their first try against the veteran Cavaliers in the event organized by UNTV President and CEO Daniel Razon for public servants.  

“Ang sikreto ko itong nasa likod ko, yung mga coaching staff talagang pinagtrabahuhan nila ito. Nag-isip kami, nag-analyze paano tatalunin ang Champion na AFP. Talagang hirap, sakripisyo,” Eneran said.

The team was also boosted by the support from their colleagues at the DENR, led by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and other top officials.

“I’m very happy because aside from giving service to the people especially sa ating different departments, we are Department of Natural and Resources. We are providing the service to people, now we would like to entertain with this basketball, so maraming salamat kay Mr. Daniel Razon,” Cimatu said in the sidelines of the ballgame.

“Nag-paid off ang sakripisyo namin… Palagay ko, the biggest factor is ‘yung suporta ng departamento. You see all these people, kahit hindi ka panalo enough na eh. ‘Yung exposure na ibinigay ng UNTV, nakikita na we are doing something for Manila Bay yun na po yun, panalo na po yun,” Environment Undersecretary Ernesto Adobo said.

The Warriors aim to complete a series sweep as they go against the Cavaliers for another game on Monday, March 9 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Game 2 will reveal whether the rookie team will take home this season’s title or the Cavaliers will be able to force a do-or-die Game 3. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Bernard Dadis)

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