Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) debuted triumphantly while National Housing Authority and Ombudsman scored contrasting wins in the 8th UNTV Cup held over the weekend at the Pasig City Sports Center.
The DENR Warriors leaned on the heroics of Ralph Lansang to outlast the GSIS Furies, 101-98, while the NHA Builders of Bennett Palad defeated the Philippine National Police Responders, 85-81, in Group II elims.
The Ombudsman Graft Busters spoiled the SSS Kabalikat’s debut with a 110-73 drubbing in the lone Group I match of the event presented by UNTV through its President and CEO Dr. Daniel Razon.
Lansang shattered a 98-all count with a three-point shot with barely four ticks left to cap a brilliant 51-point show – so far the highest scoring output in the league for public servants.
He was ably supported by Ed Rivera who posted 22 points, eight rebounds, and five assists that helped negate the 49-point performance of GSIS’ Bernante Parreño, including a league-record 12 triples.
Former UST player Bernon Franco led Ombudsman’s well-balanced attack with 30 points and 16 rebounds as the Graft Busters made known their title aspiration this time after a botched bid last season.
In a rematch of last year’s battle for third place, the Builders went to Alvin Vitug and Marvin Mercado once again to repeat over the PNP Responders, 85-81.
Vitug tallied 31 points, including five free throws in the last 46 seconds.
The chosen charity of the champion team will get the top prize of P4 million.