The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Cavaliers inched closer to winning another UNTV Cup crown with a gutsy 62-58 win over the Judiciary Magis in Game 1 of their best-of-three title series Wednesday at the Novadeci Convention Center in Quezon City.
In a game marked by several lead changes, the Cavaliers proved steadier down the stretch with Darwin Cordero and Francis Regalado coming through with tough plays that all but disarmed the Magis.
The Cavaliers can raise their fourth championship trophy in the event exclusive for the country’s public servants with another win on June 4 at the Philsports Arana in Pasig City.
If that happens, the chosen charity of the Cavaliers will win a tax-free P3 million prize.
In other games, the NHA Home Masters clobbered the PNP Responders, 74-64, in the battle for third place, while the OP Executives, starring Franz Alvarez and Juanito Sanoza, beat the AFP Cavaliers, 74-72 in the lone Executive Face-Off.
Banking on his vast wealth of experience, Cordero led AFP’s massive fourth quarter attack en route to a 24-point and 5-rebound performance. He was ably supported by Regaldo who had 9 points and 11 boards.
The Cavaliers started slow, recovered in the second, wavered again in the third before Regalado and Cordero joined forces in the payoff period where the Cavaliers outscored the Magis 18-11, to prevail. Former PBA player Chester Tolomia paced the Magis with 24 points.