Department of Environment and Natural Resources clinched the second outright semis berth with a 110-93 win over PhilHealth in the 8th UNTV Cup held over the weekend at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Ed Rivera and Melvin Bangal came through with big shots in a decisive second-quarter attack as the DENR Warriors turned what started as a tight contest into a rout.
Rivera tallied 25 points and eight boards, while Bangal was two assists shy from completing a double-double after posting 18 points, 9 assists and three boards for the Warriors who trailed the PhilHealth Plus, 31-28, at the end of the first quarter.
Apart from securing an automatic semis slot in the annual tournament for public servants that offers P4 million to the chosen charity of the champion team, the Warriors likewise tied idle and defending champion Armed Forces of the Philippines for the lead at 7-1.
That set a fitting climax to the second round of elims as the Warriors and Cavaliers dispute the top seeding on Sunday in the tournament organized by UNTV President and CEO Dr. Daniel Razon.
Meantime, Department of Agriculture kept its quarterfinal bid alive by downing Malacañang-Philippine Sports Commission, 78-68, – thanks to the 26-point performance of former UST hotshot Emerson Oreta.
With the win, the Food Masters finished the second round with a 5-4 mark, tying the Kamao for sixth to seventh places.
The third to sixth placers will play another round in the quarters while the bottom two—the 7th and 8th placers will be eliminated.
DENR 110—Rivera 25, Parreno 20, Bangal 18, Ayson 14, Abanes 14, Mamac 6, Atablanco 5, Gamboa 4, Calungcagin 4.
PHILHEALTH 93—Aldave 36, Emata 23, Mazo 19, Pacheco 7, Hernandez 6, Malana 2.
Quarters: 28-31, 56-48, 86-70, 110-93.
AGRICULTURE 78—Oreta 26, Silva 17, Fernandez 14, Comerciase 6, Dematera 6, Casaysayan 5, Mastelero 4.
MALACAÑANG 68—Garrido 18, Ignario 11, Punzalan 10, Jimenez 8, Dela Cuesta 6, Javier 6, Gadong 4, Besa 4, Roque 1.
Quarters: 12-14, 29-34, 47-49, 78-68.