Philippine National Police (PNP) forced Jeff Sanders to commit a five-second violation with only five ticks left and eke out a 60-59 win over defending champion Senate in the 7th UNTV Cup held over the weekend at the Pasig City Sports Center.
It was a sweet win for the PNP Responders as they got their campaign back on track after losing two of their first three games in the annual tournament for public servants.
Olan Omiping led PNP with 16 points while Antonio Tolentino added 15 as the Responders handed the Senate Defenders their first defeat in four games in Group A elims of the tournament organized by UNTV president and CEO Daniel Razon.
Senate’s defeat left AFP as the only undefeated team in Group A.
In the other Group A match, PITC Global Traders finally nailed their first win in four games with a 94-61 drubbing of the GSIS Furies – thanks to the inspired showing of William Vasallo.
Vasallo led five PITC players in double figures with 18 points aside from eight rebounds while Haddi Porto and Mark Lester Gecale combined for 30 points – the bulk coming in a decisive third quarter run where they pulled away for good.
Equally impressive was Department of Agriculture which clobbered two-time titlist Judiciary, 106-78, in Group B action.
In what could be his best game so far, Christian Dematera produced 28 points in leading the DA Food Masters of Sec. Manny Piñol to their third win in four games. Former Cebu star Henry Fernandez added 18 points.