National Housing Authority booked a return trip to the semifinals with a thrilling 77-74 win over the Philippine International Trading Corporation last week in the 8th UNTV Cup at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Antonio Lustestica once again shone brightest for the Benneth Palad-mentored NHA Builders by firing 18 points apart posting three rebounds and a steal.
NHA’s win in the annual tournament for public servants assured itself of the No. 3 seeding no matter what happens in its last match in the quarterfinal round against the Department of Agriculture Food Masters on Sunday also at the Paco Arena.
The win likewise arranged for themselves a semis date with the No. 2 Department of Environment and Natural Resources Warriors.
The fourth and last semifinalist will be known on Sunday as the Food Masters made the race for the last semis berth doubly exciting with a surprising 71-68 victory over the two-time champions Judiciary Magis.
The Poch Juinio-mentored Food Masters played minus several key players due to previous commitments but they still managed to prevail – thanks to the 23-point performance of Sherwin Silva.
Agriculture’s victory forged a three-way tie for second to fourth places with PITC and Judiciary—all with similar 6-5 records.
The fourth semifinalist will face top seed and defending champion Armed Forces of the Philippines in the other semis pairing—also a best-of-three affair.
AFP and DENR sdvanced outright to the semis of the tournament organized by UNTV President and CEO Dr. Daniel Razon by finishing 1-2 in the two-phase elimination round.
DA 71 - Silva 23, Fernandez 14, Comerciase 8, Dematera 8, Casaysayan 8, Mastelero 8, Hassan 2.
JUDICIARY 68 - Mustre 18, Tolomia 16, Ybañez 11, Malinao 8, Dela Cruz 7, Salamat 5, Litonjua 2, Serrano 1, Mrquez 0.
Quarters: 28-19, 41-30, 58-45, 71-68.
NHA 77 - Lustestica 18, Vitug 17, Dizon 11, Mercado 9, W. Tibay 8, Crisostomo 6, R. Tibay 4, M. Dizon 2, Palad 2.
PITC 74 - Vassallo 21, Taplah 16, Lopez 11, Juan 8, Martin 7, Porto 6, Regalado 5.
Quarters: 23-19, 45- 40, 57-58, 77-74.
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