Responders turn back Firefighters in UNTV Cup opener
TWO-TIME Most Valuable Player Ollan Omiping scored 23 points including five triples to help the defending champions PNP Responders earn a hard-fought 87-79 win over the gritty Bureau of Fire Protection Firefighters at the start of the UNTV Cup Season 6 opener at Smart-Araneta Coliseum last Tuesday.
Leading by nine points with less than three minutes to play in the final frame, the Responders were able to hold off a 9-3 rally by the Firefighters after Rob Wainwright hit consecutive triples to cut the deficit to just three, 79-82.
The defending champs answered back with their own 5-0 blast to finally seal the victory as they aim to be the first team in the league to win back-to-back championships.
“Our mission is to defend the championship. We’ve just shown the team’s camaraderie, that we know each other’s play and that even if we’re undermanned, all of us will step up,” said Omiping.
The game will be telecast on Sunday from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
UNTV Cup, unwrapped its 6th season to a huge crowd of basketball fans inside the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City last Tuesday.
“We’re looking forward to a more energetic UNTV Cup Season 6 because of the additional teams and hopefully we can help more charitable groups for each participating government agencies,” said BMPI president and CEO Kuya Daniel Razon—the brains behind UNTV Cup.
He added that even though the participating teams have yet to win, they already have something to give to their chosen charitable institutions.
Meanwhile, the main sponsor of the league, Bro. Eli Soriano of the Members Church of God International, delivered his opening remarks.
“Naniniwala po kasi kami na na ang paggawa ng mabuti, laging ang bunga nito ay mabuti. Mabuti sa tao na gumagawa at mabuti rin doon sa ginagawa niya ng kabutihan,” (We believe that doing good will always bear good fruit: good blessings to the person who is doing it and to the person he’s doing it for.) said Bro. Eli.
A total of 14 participating teams from various government agencies will battle it out for supremacy as they try to dethrone the defending champion, Philippine National Police (PNP) Responders.