(Pasig City Sports Center)
3 p.m. – PITC vs Malacañang-PSC
5 p.m. – NHA vs Senate
Defending champion Senate recovered from a sluggish second quarter show and beat the PITC, 65-59, at the start of the quarterfinals of the 7th UNTV Cup held over the weekend at the Pasig City Sports Center.
The Defenders started strong, racing to a 17-6 lead in the first 10 minutes of play but suddenly went cold in the second quarter that allowed the Global Traders to take 28-27 halftime lead.
With former PBA player Sanders, Rommel Balboa and Sen. Joel Villanueva taking charge, the Defenders came through with a decisive run midway in the payoff period to pull away for good and extend their winning streak to four dating back the second phase of the elimination.
Balboa led the Defenders with 17 points and boards while Villanueva and Sanders chipped in 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Sanders was one rebound short of posting a double-double while Harley Ng contributed 9 points and 9 boards for the Defenders out to become the first back-to-back champion of the event organized by UNTV president and CEO Daniel Razon.
“Good thing we made some big shots in the fourth,” said Senate coach Mike Fermin. “Sen. Villanueva played one of his best games this season.”
Meanwhile, National Housing Authority boosted its own bid for a semis berth by downing Malacanang-Philipppine Sports Commission, 78-72, thanks to a well-balanced attack.
Five NHA players finished in double figures with John Dizon and Clark Torrente scoring 15 and 14 points, respectively.
The top two finishers after the single-round quarterfinals will join early semifinalists Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police in the event offering P4 million to the chosen charity of the champion team.