The new kid in town is the champion !

     The Environmental Warriors of DENR defied the odds stacked against them and pulled a stunning upset over defending title-holders AFP Cavaliers to claim the crown of the UNTV Cup Season 8 at the Araneta Coliseum, Monday night.

     Although their squad was a first-timer in the tourney participated by government agencies, the Warriors  grabbed the crown by beating the Cavs twice in a row in the best of 3 finals.  DENR blasted AFP in game 1, 90-73, and followed it up with a convincing 99-91 triumph in the 2nd match to wrap up the series.

     Being a rookie team, the Warriors were not favored to make an impact in the tourney. They don’t also have any prominent players in their line-up, unlike the other units who enlisted the services of former professional and collegiate cagers.  DENR’s roster was made up of employees and officials of the agency who had been with the office for a long time.

     Not even the presence of former pro ballers Eugene Tan and Boyet Bautista of AFP could derail the quest for the title of DENR.  The Warriors applied stifling defense against the duo who were the conductors of the Cavs’ offense, being point guards.

     With Tan and Bautista being clamped by the Warriors, AFP suffered serious breakdowns in their plays.  On the offensive side, the gunners of DENR went to work against their beleaguered foes.  After the smoke of the wars cleared, the highly- favored AFP were brought down to their knees by the fearless and gritty new comers.

     During the preliminary round, DENR registered an immaculate 6-0 record.  They shocked powerhouse NHA in the semifinals whose line-up included former UAAP stalwarts.

      DENR Region 8 was ably represented in the squad, with lawyers Camilo Garcia, Norlito Eneran and Ernesto Adobo making it to the team. Atty Adobo, USecretary for legal, admin, finance, and human resources is the head coach, while Director for legal affairs service Atty Eneran doubled as player and bench tactician. Meanwhile, the chief of the legal research division Atty Garcia played consistently throughout the six-month long competitions.

     Adobo is from Paranas, Samar; while Garcia and Eneran hail from Salcedo and Brongan, Eastern Samar, respectively

     San Antonio, Basey, Samar native Al Ellema, also of DENR-Region 8 is a member of the coaching staff and team referee.    Ellema is also a member of the Basketball Referees Commission, Inc in the region.

     UNTV awarded 4 Million pesos to DENR as the champion’s purse. The Warriors gave the prize to the agency’s Heroes Foundation, Inc which was their beneficiary. The Foundation assists the families of DENR personnel especially forest rangers who perished or injured in line of duty.

     After the awarding rites, the Warriors expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the support of the agency led by Secretary Roy Cimatu as well as their respective families.

     The UNTV Cup is a charity basketball tournament participated in by government agencies.  The tourney started in 2013.  #