The GSIS Furies rode on the impressive all-around games of James Abugan and Rene Boy Banzali to stun the Philippine Responders, 87-83, in the 7th UNTV Cup held over the weekend at the Pasig City Sports in Pasig City.
Abugan erupted for 31 points aside from grabbing 10 boards, while Banzali chipped in 27 points in leading the Furies to a big win in the annual tournament offering P4 million to the chosen charity of the champion and P2 million to the runner-up.
With the duo scoring almost at will, the Furies erased a 65-60 deficit early in the payoff period on the way to tying the defending titlists the Senate Defenders for the early Group A in the event organized by UNTV president and CEO Daniel Razon.
The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for the Responders, who led most of the game only to crumble in the crunch—no thanks to GSIS’s air-tight defense.
Former University of the East player Ollan Omiping led the Responders with 21 points.
In a Group B match, the Agriculture Food Masters spoiled the debut of PhilHealth Plus with a 105-95 win.
The Food Masters of Sec. Manny Pinol started slow, but pulled their acts together to launch a massive run in the second half through the sniping of former UST start Emerson Oreta.
Oreta banged in 23 points—the bulk coming in the fourth period that greatly helped change the momentum of the game.
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