UNTV Cup Season 5: Top 5 Players to Watch Out
As the fifth season of the UNTV Cup opens on Monday night (August 29) at the Mall of Asia Arena, observers and supporters are already waiting for the names of the players playing for each team to be announced.
Aside from the entertainment provided by seeing 13 government agencies playing for charities, the charity basketball tournament is also expected to reveal the names of the chosen charities by the playing teams during the opening ceremony on August 29.
Since Seasons 1 through 4, a lot of government employees were able to display their basketball skills, proving that Filipinos from all walks of life have a genuine passion for basketball. Among all the UNTV Cup players, however, there are five players that we should watch out for this season. Will they be breakout players or will they disappoint?
Waldemar Tibay, NHA Builders
Waldemar “Quicksilver” Tibay was an instant hit the moment he stepped on the court on the opening game of UNTV Cup’s 3rd season. Although his team, the National Housing Authority Builders, experienced a lopsided loss against then defending champions AFP Cavaliers, the exciting play and daredevil moves of Tibay earned him the adulation of UNTV Cup fans, to the point that they made him a Facebook fanpage “The Quicksilver Tibay Friends”.
His overall game improved on his sophomore year, which enabled him to win the Best in Assists award last season. His all-around play helped bring NHA to the semifinals last UNTV Cup season 4. Will his exciting play and continuous improvement help bring his team to the Finals this year?
Antonio Tolentino, Jr., PNP Responders
PNP’s Anton Tolentino will be remembered with his explosive 12-point first quarter flurry in the first quarter of Game 3 of last season’s Finals series against AFP. He almost single-handedly won the championship for the Responders with his scintillating 26-point performance on the said game.
His long-range shooting and quick spin moves to the basket proved to be a lethal combination that makes him that secondary scorer the Responders have been missing since the start of the UNTV Cup. Will he take the next step on his sophomore year this season 5? Will he be able to bring that long-elusive championship trophy to Camp Crame?
Boyet Bautista, AFP Cavaliers
Boyet Bautista’s steady play and clutch baskets proved to be the big difference that brought AFP their second UNTV Cup championship last season. The former Letran Knights and PBA player carried the Cavaliers on his back during the time when PNP was threatening to take over and win the decisive Game 3 of last year’s UNTV Cup Finals.
He will definitely be back for a second tour of duty. Will he be able to defend the championship for AFP?
Sen. Joel Villanueva, Senate Defenders
Newly-elected Senator Joel “Tesdaman” Villanueva used to be the main scorer and spark plug for the Malacanan Patriots when he was still the Director General of TESDA. He is now a valued addition to the Senate Defenders, with his momentum-swinging plays and scoring prowess a very big help to a Senate side that lacks offensive firepower.
How will he perform with his new team as a new senator of the country? How will he fare when the Defenders face the Patriots?
Manny Pacquiao, Senate Defenders
Another key addition for the Senate Defenders is Senator Manny Pacquiao. The hall-of-fame boxing icon is also an active professional basketball playing coach of Mahindra in the PBA. He will inject much-needed discipline, leadership and court generalship to the Defenders.
Senator Pacquiao or “Pacman”, as he is more popularly-known, will be showcasing his extended shooting range, regardless of the shooting stroke, that will be of great help to the Senate five. Will he lead the Defenders to being a pound-for-pound best team in the UNTV Cup this season 5?
These five players and more will surely make UNTV Cup 5 an intense basketball league to watch. Catch them and more public servants in action on the hardcourt on UNTV News and Rescue.
Written by: Jerlo Kevin Rialp