Fully-rested Armed Forces of the Philippines and Department of Environment and Natural Resources are looking for hot starts in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinals against their respective rivals in the 8th UNTV Cup on Sunday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The top-seeded AFP Cavaliers collide with the Judiciary Magis at 5 p.m., while the second-ranked DENR Warrirors take on the National Housing Authority Builders at 3:30 p.m. in the event organized by UNTV President and CEO Dr. Daniel Razon annually for public servants.
AFP and DENR waited for almost three weeks to find out their semis rivals after advancing outright to the semis for finishing 1-2 in the two-stage elims.
Despite the long break, the Cavaliers and Warriors expressed readiness for what they expect a tight and exciting series, knowing full well their rivals are playing at their best of late.
Though the Cavaliers have slight edge in the frontline, the Magis have solid backcourt crew in former PBA players Warren Ybanez and Chester Tolomia and veteran Frederick Salamat.
Judiciary is also coming off an impressive 65-55 win over Philippine International Trading Center in their do-or-die duel for the last semis ticket over the weekend.
Bannered by former Letran star Boyet Bautista, the Cavaliers are hoping to become the first back-to-back champions of the league although they hold the distinction as the winningest team with three titles.
The chosen charity of the champion team will receive a tax-free P4 million prize while the runnerup’s own charity will get P2 million.