Pasay City, Philippines (August 29, 2016) – UNTV Cup, a unique basketball league for a cause, opens its fifth season on August 29 at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena. UNTV Cup aims to gather public servants from the Philippine government to play basketball for charity.

The huge crowd during the UNTV Cup Season 5 opening ceremony at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Photo courtesy of UNTV Cup Facebook page.

UNTV-Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI) Chairman and CEO Bro. Daniel Razon, who conceptualized the charity league, thanked the Almighty God for the start of the new season. He also acknowledged the continuous and warm support of brethren from Members Church of God International (MCGI) who attended the event to promote public service.

Razon also known as Kuya Daniel said “Like we always say, we are thankful to God for all of our public service endeavors. UNTV is the sole public service channel that focuses on serving our fellowmen, with the support from MCGI through the stewardship of Bro. Eli Soriano.” Kuya Daniel is also the Assistant to the Overall Servant to MCGI.

Mr. Public Service Kuya Daniel Razon leads UNTV Cup Season 5 with the ceremonial toss between the Senate Defenders and AFP Cavaliers.

International televangelist and Overall Servant to MCGI Bro. Eli Soriano also speaks to the crowd during the UNTV Cup Season 5 opening ceremonies. He gave his congratulations to all the participants from various government agencies.

Bro. Eli Soriano, Overall Servant to MCGI, speaks to the crowd during the opening of UNTV Cup Season 5 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Photo courtesy of Maria Teresa De Castro’s Facebook post.

Bro. Eli cited a Biblical passage from Galatians 6:2, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” to emphasize God’s will, giving importance in doing charity works.

Bro. Eli who is now preaching in South America said that it is a kind of sacrifice, to work hard, playing basketball and donating it to the charitable institution of their choice. Via live streaming, Bro. Eli said “Thank you to our senators, to the government agencies participating to help our fellowmen. May God bless you all.”

Bigger and better public service

On its fifth year, UNTV Cup offers its biggest cash prize pool to date with almost Php 10 million worth of cash donations to charitable institutions.
Last season’s champion AFP Cavaliers got Php 500,000 for their team and donated Php 3.5 million to their chosen beneficiary, the AFP Educational and Benefit Systems Office. Watch UNTV’s Hataw Balita report on this season’s cash prize below:

13 teams

Starting with eight (8) participating teams in 2011, it expanded to 13 teams, with the Bureau of Customs as the latest addition. Meanwhile, team Malacañang changes its name from the previous season’s “Malacañang Patriots” to “Malacañang Kamao.” The Tagalog word “kamao” literally translates as “fist”, the popular symbol of President Rodrigo Duterte during his 2016 presidential campaign.

In addition, UNTV Cup commissioner Fortunato “Atoy” Co also revealed in his speech that there are about five government agencies applying to play for the charity league. He also revealed that for the next season, UNTV Cup Season 6, may have 14 participating teams.

16 charities

Currently, there are 16 charitable institutions as beneficiaries in the UNTV Cup Season 5. Meanwhile, the Judiciary and the Department of Justice are yet to announce their chosen charities.

List of participating teams and their chosen charities

UNTV Cup Season 5 participants. Photo courtesy of UNTV Cup Facebook page.
  1. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ▪ Team AFP Cavaliers ▪ AFP–Educational and Benefit Systems Office (AFP-EBSO)
  2. Bureau of Customs (BOC) ▪ Team BOC Transformers ▪ Caritas Manila, Inc.
  3. Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) ▪ Team BFP Firefighters ▪ Philippine Science High School Foundation, Inc.
  4. Department of Justice ▪ Team DOJ Justice Boosters ▪ (Beneficiary to be announced)
  5. Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) ▪ Team GSIS Furies ▪ Golden Reception and Action Center for Elderly and Other Special Cases (GRACES)
  6. House of Representatives (HOR) ▪ Team HOR Solons ▪ Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Missions, Inc. and Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc.
  7. Malacañang (Office of the President) ▪ Team Malacañang Kamao ▪ Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC)
  8. Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) ▪ Team MMDA Black Wolves ▪ Philippine General Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Philippine Cerebral Palsy, Inc. and Damayan MMDA Provident Fund
  9. National Housing Authority (NHA) ▪ Team NHA Builders ▪ NHA Provident Fund Association, Inc.
  10. Office of the Ombudsman ▪ Team Ombudsman Graft Busters ▪ Ombudsman Provident Fund
  11. Philippine Judiciary ▪ Team Judiciary Magis ▪ (Beneficiary to be announced)
  12. Philippine National Police (PNP) ▪ Team PNP Responders ▪ Police Community Relations Group Drug Rehabilitation Program
  13. Senate of the Philippines ▪ Team Senate Defenders ▪ Kythe Foundation, Inc., Pangarap Foundation and Share an Opportunity Philippines, Inc.

Season opener: AFP beats the Senate

With the score of 85-71, defending champion AFP Cavaliers beats the Senate Defenders during the season opener. Watch the full video of the game in YouTube below.

Performances

The also present during opening ceremonies were RnB King Jay-R, balladeer Jed Madela and comedy duo AJ and Le Chazz to boost the crowd.

From left to right: Balladeer Jed Madela, RnB King Jay-R, comedy duo Le Chazz and AJ.

Controversies

As earlier announced, boxing champion Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao was also tapped to be a part of the Senate Defenders in UNTV Cup Season 5, along with Senators Sonny Angara, Joel Villanueva, Bam Aquino, Win Gatchalian and Ralph Recto.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao (middle) was invited to be a part of Team Senate Defenders with Sen. Joel Villanueva (left) and Sen. Sonny Angara (right). Photo courtesy of UNTV Cup.

However, Pacman will no longer join the league as he may face the risk of suspension from the Philippine Basketball Assocation (PBA). Pacquiao is under contract as playing coach for the Mahindra Enforcer in the PBA league, which means he is not allowed to play in any other league outside of the PBA. In an article from Rappler, PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa said “They asked us if he can. We checked the rules and he cannot.”

Social media

UNTV Cup’s official hashtag #UNTVCupSeason5 landed on Top 2 spot in Twitter Philippine trends as of 10:15 pm during its opening ceremony.

#UNTVCupSeason5 reached Top 2 spot in Twitter Philippine trends during its opening night.

The regular UNTV Cup Season 5 games will be aired every Sunday at 2 pm on UNTV News and Rescue. UNTV airs on UHF channel 37 (analog) and channel 38 (digital frequency 617143) in Mega Manila, Sky Direct channel 40 and Cignal TV channel 92 (nationwide), Sky Cable channel 33 (analog) and 58 (digital), Cable Link channel 77 and other local cable TV operators nationwide. [techthetruth]


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