National Housing Authority inched closer to earning a semis berth with a 72-64 win over the Philippine National Police at the start of the quarterfinal round of the 9th UNTV Cup on Tuesday at the Novadeci Convention Center in Quezon City.
The Home Masters of former UST star Bennett Palad outscored the Responders in the second quarter, 25-13, to gain the upper hand, 39-29, a lead they wisely protected to prevail and improve to 7-3 in the standings.
NHA now needs only to beat the OP-PMS on Sunday to advance to the Final Four of the event offering a tax-free P3 million top prize to the chosen charity of the champion team.
The Trailblazers, meantime, hiked their record to 6-4 after an 86-79 win over the GSIS Furies – thanks to Jhon Kenneth Aljard and Roverick Abalos who combined for 50 points and 31 rebounds.
In the Executive Face-Off, the AFP Cavaliers downed the Ombudsman Graftbusters, 67-60,
Alvin Vitug and Antonio Lustestica formed a deadly 1-2 punch for the Home Masters, scoring 19 and 14 points, respectively, most of which came in the second quarter. The duo also collared 8 rebounds each.
Both PNP and GSIS suffered their fifth defeat in 10 games in the event organized by Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International CEO and President Daniel Razon for the country’s public servants.
The top two teams after the single round will join early semifinalists Judiciary Magis and AFP Cavaliers.