Judiciary and Armed Forces of the Philippines scored contrasting wins and earned at least a playoff for a semis berth in the 9th UNTV Cup Sunday at the Novadeci Convention Center in Quezon City.
With former PBA player Chester Tolomia leading the way, the Judiciary Magis completed a wire-to-wire 64-54 victory over the Senate Defenders for their 6th win in 8 games.
If they win their last game against the faltering DENR Warriors on March 23, the Magis will advance outright to the semis in the tournament offering a tax-free P3 million prize for the chosen charity of the champion time.
The AFP Cavaliers likewise hiked their record to 6-2 following a hard-earned 87-85 decision over the defending champion DENR. Standing in their way for an automatic semis slot are the PNP Responders.
The NHA Home Masters also kept alive their bid for an automatic berth in the semis with a 99-93 over the OP-PMS Trailblazers, a victory that enabled them to draw level with the GSIS at 5-3.
Tolomia, 43, scattered 17 points to go with his 8 rebounds and three assists while former Letran star Boyet Bautista finally made his presence felt with a 20-point explosion apart from dishing off two assists for the Cavaliers.
Their victories made the race for two outright semis more interesting – the same thing for the quarters as four teams in the lower bracket of the standings – the PNP Responders, Warriors, Trailblazers, and the Senate Defenders – are toting similar 4-4 records.