The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Cavaliers came closer to winning another UNTV Cup crown with a gutsy 62-58 victory over the Judiciary Magis in Game 1 of their best-of-three title series on Wednesday at the Novadeci Convention Center in Quezon City.
In a game marked by several lead changes, the Cavaliers proved steadier down the stretch, with Darwin Cordero and Francis Regalado making tough plays that all but disarmed the Magis.
The Cavaliers can clinch their fourth championship trophy in this event exclusive to the country’s public servants with another win on June 4 at the Philsports Arana in Pasig City. If that happens, the chosen charity of the Cavaliers will receive a tax-free prize of P3 million.
In other games, the NHA Home Masters dominated the PNP Responders, 74-64, in the battle for third place, while the OP Executives, featuring Franz Alvarez and Juanito Sanoza, defeated the AFP Cavaliers, 74-72, in the lone Executive Face-Off.
Relying on his vast wealth of experience, Cordero led AFP’s massive fourth-quarter attack, contributing 24 points and 5 rebounds. He received strong support from Regalado, who had 9 points and 11 boards.
The Cavaliers started slow, recovered in the second quarter, wavered again in the third, and then Regalado and Cordero joined forces in the payoff period, where the Cavaliers outscored the Magis 18-11 to prevail.
Former PBA player Chester Tolomia led the Magis with 24 points.