The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Cavaliers outlasted the NHA Home Masters, 81-74, in their sudden death and advanced to the finals of the 9th UNTV Cup Sunday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
This time it was Mark Salupado who shone brightest for the three-time champions, coming through with clutch plays in the pivotal period to help take the fight out of the stubborn Home Masters and arrange a title clash with the Judiciary Magis.
Game 1 of the best-of-three title series is set Wednesday at the Novadeci Convention Center in Quezon City.
The chosen charity of the winning team in the event organized by Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International CEO and President Daniel Razon will earn a tax-free P3 million top prize.
In the Executive Face-Off match, the PNP Responders beat the Judiciary Magis, 86-78.
Five AFP players tallied in double figures with Dave Cordero finishing with 21 points and 13 boards while Salupado contributed 10 points and six rebounds apart from the hustle he provided that led to several vital baskets down the stretch.
Former Letran star Boyet Bautista and Jerry Lumungsod combined for 28 points.
With the loss, the Home Masters were relegated to a battle for third place against the PNP Responders.
Joel de Mesa and Joshua Alejandro led the Responders with 30 and 19 points, respectively.