NHA stuns reigning titlist DENR; PNP, Agriculture triumph

Julius Casaysayan

Alvin Vitug exploded for a season-high 38 points and helped power the NHA Home Masters to a 92-80 come-from-behind win over defending champion DENR Warriors in the 9th UNTV Cup Wednesday, Dec. 21, at the Paco Arena in Manila.

In his best game so far, Vitug also produced seven rebounds and seven assists as the Home Masters completed their remarkable comeback from several 10-point deficits in the first half to hike their record to 2-1.

Three other NHA players scored in double figures with Marvin Mercado scattering 13 points and John Dizon and Brian Dabu adding 11 and 10, respectively, to hand the Warriors their first defeat in two games.

In other games, the PNP Responders romped to a 102-59 victory over SSS Kabalikat, while the Agriculture Food Masters pulled off a thrilling 101-99 win over PhilHealth Konsulta in the 12-team tournament for public servants.

Julius Casaysayan and Nino Villena led the Food Masters to their first win in two games by scoring similar 24 points while Rollie Serrano and Richard Villanueva starred for PNP by each posting 22 points apart from combining for 15 boards.

Agriculture’s win negated the 35-point performance of former Letran star Jonathan Aldave for PhilHealth.

Meantime, the league, a brainchild of UNTV’s Kuya Daniel Razon, takes a two-week holiday break and returns on Jan. 8 with another triple-header.

The chosen charity of the champion team will receive a tax-free P3 million prize.