Is it going to be Team Judiciary or Team PNP who’s in it to bring home the Championship trophy of tonight’s UNTV Cup Finals at the Big Dome?
But what matters most for everyone involved and those supporting is to see the big smiles in the faces of the beneficiaries from the winning team’s chosen charity institution.
What started as a benefit exhibition game called Sing and Shoot, Kuya Daniel expanded the event into a league with full season.
He has been quoted for announcing during the Sing and Shoot event held on June 11 last year that:
“UNTV is creating a basketball game for public servants and celebrities. This will become a regular event which will be aired at UNTV.”
To rewind, the league’s first season kicked off on July 29 this year at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Only in its first season yet, but the enthusiasm and interest that this basketball league has generated is overwhelming.
One particular reason for the admiration for the benefit basketball league is the big cash prizes that will be given to the players’ chosen charitable institutions.
The winning team’s chosen charity group will receive P1-Million, and the first runner-up placer’s hand-picked charity will be given P500,000.
But before the final showdown, an exhibition game between PBA Legends and All Stars that will start at 6PM will be held.
The PBA Legends have Atoy Co, Ed Cordero, Freddie Hubalde, Tito Varela, Bai Cristobal, Yoyong Martirez, Jerry Codinera, Ronnie Magsanoc, Gerry Esplana, Manny Paner and Sev Sarmenta.
Playing with Team All Stars, meanwhile, will be Kuya Daniel, Rep. Sherwin Tugna, Vice Mayor Francis Zamora, Ervic Vijandre, Rey PJ Abellana, Bayani Agbayani, Dave Almarinez, Scott Davies Lanete, Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., German Panghulan, Cyril Santiago and Jeffrey Sanders.
The second season are also being set, Kuya Daniel said in an interview.
“For certain, with God’s, help tuloy-tuloy naman to; ngayon nga even before the finals, na i-set na natin yung para sa second season, more or less mga 10 teams, kasali pa rin sila, mayron lang mga teams na madadagdag”
(“For certain, with God’s help, this will continue; at present, even before the finals, we’ve already set the second season, [with] more or less 10 teams. They [existing teams] are all still part of this, but there will be new teams that will be added”).
Sev Sarmenta, writing for the Inquirer, have expressed a heartful of thanks and appreciation to the game.
“Sports can indeed be competitive and sometimes divisive but when contextualized properly, they can be an avenue for great friendships. And this maybe even more so in a basketball-crazy country like ours when there is no need to explain the simplicity and joy of the game.”
The real game on Tuesday at the Big Dome may bring out the competitive juices anew but will not diminish the greater value of forging great friendships and alliances.
Observers note this basketball league for a cause as another milestone in public service delivery, through UNTV with support from Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano of the Members Church of God International (MCGI), which is more popularly-known for its radio-television program, Ang Dating Daan.
You can join the Facebook and Twitter Party by using the following hashtags: #UNTVCUPfinals starting this very hour.