The AFP Cavaliers outlasted the PhilHealth Konsulta in a virtual knockout match while the PNP Responders rode on the heroics of former UE player Olan Omiping to hand the Senate Defenders their first loss in the 9th UNTV Cup Wednesday at the Novadeci Convention Center in Quezon City.
In booking the last spot to the cross-over second round of elims, the Cavaliers banked heavily on the game-long brilliance of Jerry Lumungsod and Darwin Cordero to prevail, 107-102, in overtime and forge a four-way tie for No. 1 in Group A with OP-PMS, Judiciary and GSIS – all with 3-2 records.
Lumungsod tallied 27 points and 5 boards to share the Best Player of the Game award with Cordero, who logged 21 points, six boards, 3 assists and two steals.
In his best game so far, Omiping scattered 17 points in PNP’s stunning 59-55 win over the erstwhile unbeaten Defenders at the close of the initial phase of the elims.
Omiping also had 7 boards, 2 assists and a steal as the Responders finished with a 3-2 card in the tournament organized by BMPI-UNTV CEO Dr. Daniel Razon for public servants.
Despite the loss, the Defenders still topped Group B with a 4-1 mark – the same record of NHA.
In the carry-over second round, the top four finishers in Group A will face their counterparts from Group B – Senate, NHA, DENR and PNP –in another single round affair with the top two teams securing outright semis berths and last two placers will ve eliminated.
The third to sixth placers play another round in the quarters ˗ all of them carrying their previous win-loss records – with the top two teams securing semis slots.