Defending champion Senate and National Housing Authority scored contrasting wins over their respective rivals to grab the early lead in their groups elims of the 7th UNTV Cup held over the weekend at the GSIS gym in Pasay City.
The Senate Defenders came through with a big third-quarter show to dump the GSIS Furies, 78-51, in Group A, while the NHA Builders outlasted the PhilHealth Plus, 103-100, in Group B.
Protecting a slim 32-27 halftime lead, the Defenders, starring Garri Sevilla and Jeffrey Sanders, went on an early tear in the third frame on the way to outscoring the Furies, 25-14, for a 57-41 lead going into the final 10 minutes of play.
The Defenders encountered no trouble after that as the rest, including Sen. Sonny Angara, joined the scoring spree to complete the rout in the tournament organized by UNTV president and CEO Daniel Razon.
Sevilla sizzled for 18 points, while Sanders and Angara chipped in 10 and 7 points, respectively.
The Builders, on the other hand, went to Marvin Mercado, John Dizon and Michael Dizon in the crunch to withstand the determined comeback of the Plus and stay unbeaten in the tournament offering P4 million to the charity of the champion team.
In the other Group A match, former champion Philippine National Police rebounded from a shock defeat to the Furies last week by downing PITC, 80-77.
Former University of the East player Ollan Omiping led the PNP Responders with 23 points, while Antonio Tolentino, Jr. and Julius Criste added 16 and 15 points, respectively.
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