The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) obtained their third championship title for the UNTV Cup, sweeping the Senate Defenders for the best-of-three finals series last Monday, March 11 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum; where more than 10,000 basketball fans were present. The last time AFP got the top title was in 2016, and prior to that, they also received the gold in 2014.
Jerry Lumongsod, Darwin Cordero, and Boyet Bautista led the way for the Cavaliers, with the score ending at 88-78 for game two. Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Lumongsod finished with 26 points, three assists, and three steals, while Cordero provided 19 points and Bautista chipped 18 points respectively. Jeffrey Quiambao contributed double digits at 11 points as well, but it was his effective defense against usually high-scoring Defender Garri Savilla that was applauded.
As a result of their win, AFP received P4 million to donate to their beneficiary, the AFP’s Education Benefit Systems Office. For the players and coaches themselves, UNTV awarded the winners with a P500,000 prize, while the Senate Defenders, who were last year’s champions, were given P300,000. In addition, the Defenders’ beneficiaries Kythe Foundation, Tahanang Mapagpala, Immaculada Concepcion, Inc., and Bahay Pangarap Foundation, Inc. will all share the first runner-up award of P2 million.
The UNTV Cup, which is dubbed as ‘the league of public servants’ began five years ago paying tribute to government agencies, celebrity guests, former professional players, and amateur stars competing within 12 different teams. The concept was originally created by “Mr. Public Service” Daniel Razon, who is the chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BMPI-UNTV.
When talking about the results of the seventh season of the league, Razon told the public, “Everybody gave their all but the Cavaliers just played much harder so I congratulate them for a job well done,” adding in Filipino, “Doing good will not be triumphed by the bad. So, to all the teams who took part in the tournament, congratulations.”