PBA legends gear up for historic rival teams’ exhibition game on February 17

UNTV News   •   February 11, 2019   •   5822

Some of the former professional basketball players of the Philippine Basketball Association
who will play for the “Return of the Rivals”, a charity event of the PBA Legends Foundation, UNTV and PBA on February 17, 2019 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. (Fred Alvior / Photoville International)

Philippine basketball fans will once again get to see their hard-court heroes who have kept Filipinos’ passion for basketball burning for decades.

Dubbed as the ‘Return of the Rivals,’ PBA Legends of the 90s will face off anew in an exhibition game slated on February 17 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The game will feature the prominent archrivals in Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) history: the San Miguel Beer versus Alaska Milk and the Barangay Ginebra against the Purefoods Hotdogs.

“It is really nice to be back on the court again with the players na nakakalaban namin before na hindi kami naglaro for a long time. So magsasama ulit kami and it’s really nice to be part of this project na pinangunahan ni Kuya Daniel (It is really nice to be back on the court again with the players that we have played against before. After a long time, we will be able to play with them again and it’s really nice to be a part of this project led by Kuya Daniel Razon),” former Alaska player Jojo “Jolas” “Mr. Clutch” Lastimosa said.

Former Purefoods player, Alvin “The Captain” Patrimonio echoed the excitement.

“It’s really a blessing kasi nagsama-sama ulit. Parang reunion ulit with the players, former players. Tapos ang kalaban mo ay ‘yung rival mo nung panahon. So, talagang excited and talagang nagpe-prepare lahat for this big event (It’s really a blessing because we’re together again. It’s like a reunion for us. Then, we get to play with our rival teams from before. We are really excited and we are really preparing for this big event).”

PBA legends participating in the game have been preparing for their big reunion, promising to bring fun and excitement to the viewers.

Former Alaska point guard, Johnny “The Flying A” Abarrientos explained the sense of fulfillment that the game brings.

“Yung fulfillment kasi ito ‘yung passion ng mga PBA Legends, ‘yung makabalik ulit, makapag-perform, makita ng fans na we can still play. Sobra, sobra kaming thankful (It is fulfilling because this is the passion of the PBA Legends: to be able to play again, to show the fans that we can still play. We are so very thankful).”

For Lastimosa, the raised stakes will reignite the competitive spirit of old rivals.

“Sa ngayon, nagsasabi sila na we’re not out there to win, pero pagdating sa court niyan, walang magpapatalo niyan especially na may matatanggap ‘yung winning team. I think the competitive side of the players will come out eventually pagdating naming sa court (For now, some say we’re not out there to win. But when the game starts the competitiveness will kick in, especially since there’s a price at stake for the winning team. I think the competitive side of the players will come out eventually on the court),”

Bonel “The Gentle Giant” Balingit of Purefoods Hotdogs recalled their heydays.

“Siguro noong panahon ang basketball, halos lahat galing probinsya. Tapos hindi pa ganoon ka-high-tech din ‘yung paggamot ‘nung mga injury. ‘Pag galing sa probinsya, pinapagpag lang, okay na (Back in the day, most of the PBA players were from province. Treatment of injuries were not that advanced yet. In the province, you just pick yourself up and dust yourself off).”

But beyond the excitement and entertainment, the Return of the Rivals project serves a more noble purpose — giving assistance to former professional basketball players who are sick or have medical concerns.

The said basketball charity event is a project of the Samahan ng mga Dating Propesyonal na Basketbolista sa Pilipinas Foundation Incorporated, in cooperation with the Philippine Basketball Association or PBA and UNTV.

The idea of forming the group started in April 2015 wherein an exhibition game was staged between several PBA Legends and the UNTV Cup All Stars.

“Well, we’re so thankful kay Kuya Daniel, without him, without UNTV, this wouldn’t be possible. In fact, napakalaking utang na loob naming sa kaniya kasi siya ang nag-spearhead at nag-push sa amin to form this foundation two years ago and he even donated one million for the seed money. Saludo ako kay Kuya Daniel. Maraming maraming Salamat Kuya Daniel. We owe you big time,” San Miguel Beer’s Trigger Man Allan Caidic said.

(We are so thankful to Kuya Daniel Razon. Without him, without UNTV, this charity endeavor wouldn’t be possible. In fact he spearheaded and pushed us to form the PBA Legends foundation two years ago and he even donated one million for the seed money. I salute Kuya Daniel, thank you very much. We owe you big time.)

“Sana naman ay sa mga darating na ibang legends ay sana gawin ulit ni Mr. Daniel ito mabuting project para sa kapuwa nating manlalaro rin,” Ginebra’s Joey Loyzaga said.

(I hope Mr. Daniel Razon will continue this noble project with the future PBA Legends for the benefit of our fellow basketball players in need.)

The players are inviting the public to support the Return of the Rivals exhibition game, which will also be aired in UNTV.

“Sa lahat po ng mga fanatic at naniniwala pa po na kaya pa pong maglaro ng mga players ng Return of the Rivals, suportahan ninyo pong muli kami this coming February 17 at Araneta Coliseum,” Abarrientos invited.

(To all of our fans, to those who still believe that we can still play, let’s watch the Return of the Rivals on February 17 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.) — Asher Cadapan Jr / UNTV News and Rescue

DENR Warriors make UNTV Cup history, wins championship

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 10, 2020

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Warriors made UNTV Cup history after winning the championship on Monday (March 9).

The DENR Warriors defeated the previous champion Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Cavaliers in a best-of-three series of the UNTV Cup Season 8.

The rookie team dominated in the first and second game of the series. The AFP Cavaliers did not back down in fighting for the championship but the DENR Warriors were relentless in securing their first championship.

Game 2 ended with the finals score of 99-91.

DENR Warrior coach Norlito Eneran expressed his gratitude to the DENR Warrior players for their sacrifices.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga players, coaching staff talagang ang dami nilang sakripisyo para rito. Hindi biro ang ginawa namin, (I am thankful to the players and coaching staff, they sacrificed a lot for this. What we did was no joke),” he said.

Ed Rivera of the DENR Warriors is the most valuable player for his boldness in the court, scoring a total of 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block. Meanwhile, Ralp Lansang secured 22 points for the DENR, Ryan Abanes and Archie Gamboa scored 20 and 11 ponts, respectively.

For the AFP Cavaliers, Boyet Bautista scored 29 points followed by Romeo Almerol with 17 points and Jerry Lumongsod scored 15 points.

The DENR Warriors will receive P4 million for their chosen charity, the Environmental Heroes Foundation Incorporated. Meanwhile the AFP Cavaliers won P2 million for AFP Educational Benefits System Office.

UNTV Cup Season 8 will give a total of P10 million to various institutions and their chosen charities.—AAC (with reports from Bernard Dadis)

DENR Warriors rout AFP Cavaliers in Game 1 of UNTV Cup title series

Robie de Guzman   •   March 2, 2020

DENR Point Guard Arturo Atablanco drives while AFP Point Guard Boyet Bautista looks for a chance to steal the ball.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Warriors are now on the cusp of winning the UNTV Cup Season 8 title after routing the defending champion Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Cavaliers, 90-73, in Game 1 of their best-of-three championship series on Sunday at Paco Arena in Manila.

Warriors dominated the ball game from the first quarter and successfully thwarted attempts by the Cavaliers to block their shots in the third quarter.

In the last quarter, the seasoned Cavaliers still tried to pump in more points with top players Romeo Almerol, Darwin Cordero and Jerry Lumongsod.

But the rookie team Warriors, led by Coach Norlito Eneran, defended tightly and rotated the ball so well that it posted impressive scores from the field to finish the game in double digits.

DENR’s Ralph Lansang and Ryan Abanes were picked as best players of the game after scoring 20 and 14 points, respectively.

Ed Rivera added 15 points to DENR’s score while Desederio Ayson Jr. provided 14 points and Melvin Bangal with 13 points.

DENR’s tough defense to AFP Cavalier’s gunners was key to beating the defending champ at Game 1

Coach Eneran admitted the team had to work doubly hard in order to clinch the title on their first try against the veteran Cavaliers in the event organized by UNTV President and CEO Daniel Razon for public servants.  

“Ang sikreto ko itong nasa likod ko, yung mga coaching staff talagang pinagtrabahuhan nila ito. Nag-isip kami, nag-analyze paano tatalunin ang Champion na AFP. Talagang hirap, sakripisyo,” Eneran said.

The team was also boosted by the support from their colleagues at the DENR, led by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and other top officials.

“I’m very happy because aside from giving service to the people especially sa ating different departments, we are Department of Natural and Resources. We are providing the service to people, now we would like to entertain with this basketball, so maraming salamat kay Mr. Daniel Razon,” Cimatu said in the sidelines of the ballgame.

“Nag-paid off ang sakripisyo namin… Palagay ko, the biggest factor is ‘yung suporta ng departamento. You see all these people, kahit hindi ka panalo enough na eh. ‘Yung exposure na ibinigay ng UNTV, nakikita na we are doing something for Manila Bay yun na po yun, panalo na po yun,” Environment Undersecretary Ernesto Adobo said.

The Warriors aim to complete a series sweep as they go against the Cavaliers for another game on Monday, March 9 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Game 2 will reveal whether the rookie team will take home this season’s title or the Cavaliers will be able to force a do-or-die Game 3. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Bernard Dadis)

AFP-DENR duel set for UNTV Cup 8 Finals

UNTV News   •   February 28, 2020

The DENR Warriors is expected to capitalize on their youth while the AFP Cavaliers will bank on their experience as they battle for the 8th UNTV Cup title. 

After months of weekly battles, the road to the championship series begins for UNTV Cup Season 8.

On Sunday, defending champion AFP Cavaliers will try to set the momentum in the final series against the rookie team DENR Warriors.

“It’s overwhelming to the team, for the management, to the AFP community may pagkakataon ulit kami makatulong ng malaki sa aming beneficiary which is the EBSO,” AFP Cavaliers Head Coach Cornelio “Sonny” Manucat III said.

AFP-EBSO (Armed Forces of the Educational Benefit System Office) is the institution in the Armed Forces of the Philippines which grants scholarship to the dependents of soldiers killed in action or disabled while performing their duties.

Last season the AFP Cavaliers donated their championship prize of P4,000,000 to AFP-EBSO.

This season, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources basketball squad, DENR Warriors aims to become the first rookie team to win the UNTV Cup championship title.

“Yung panlaban namin sa kanila is yung hunger factor na first time kami rito plus the fact na naglalaro kami na para sa beneficiary namin na Environmental Heroes Foundation. Inspirasyon namin yung mga mga namatay na mga hero ng kalikasan,” DENR Warriors Coach Norlito Eneran expressed.

DENR’s charity, the Environmental Heroes Foundation Incorporated (EFHI) is already assured of P2,000,000 donation as a prize of 2nd placer should they fall short in the series. EFHI helps the family of the slain forest rangers and coastal patrollers.

Meanwhile, the Judiciary Magis and NHA Builders will have to face each other for third place. The third best gets to take home P1,000,000 for their charity while the fourth placer gets to donate P500,000 for theirs.

The rest of the teams who weren’t able to make it to the Final 4 is entitled to have P100,000 for their chosen charity.

But those 8 teams will have another chance to donate more cash to their charities as they will participate in a 3-on-3 basketball pocket tournament which will take place during the UNTV Cup Best of 3 Finals Series.

Dubbed as the “liga ng public servants (league of public servants)”, UNTV Cup, aims to promote camaraderie, sportsmanship, and charity among the participating government agencies through basketball.

Wish 107.5 creator, Kuya Daniel Razon, conceptualized UNTV Cup seven years ago, offering participating teams to choose a charity institution or endeavor as the beneficiary of their prize money.

On Sunday (March 1), games will start at 3 PM at Paco Arena, Manila. It will also be aired live on UNTV with broadcast also via UNTV and UNTV Cup social media pages and website.

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