San Miguel Beer wins third straight PBA All-Filipino title
Beermen awarded Perpetual Trophy; Ross named Finals MVP anew
The San Miguel Beermen won their third straight PBA Philippine Cup title with a 91-85 victory over crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in Game 5 of the Finals yesterday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Cebuano June Mar Fajardo and veteran forward Arwind Santos had 21 points each as San Miguel wrapped up its best-of-seven series, 4-1.
San Miguel was awarded the prestigious Perpetual Trophy for winning three straight All-Filipino titles. The Beermen are only the second team to be awarded the trophy after Talk ‘N Text.
Barangay Ginebra, which was coming off a championship run in last year’s Governors’ Cup, was led by Japeth Aguilar’s 26 points.
The Gin Kings started the game with a 5-0 blast but it was all San Miguel after that.
The Beermen built a 27-21 lead after the first then widened the gap to 51-41 after two quarters.
But the Gin Kings were always within striking distance. They made a run in the third, scoring 21 points to slice the deficit to just two, 61-63, going into the final period.
Ginebra kept it close early in the fourth as both teams exchanged baskets but San Miguel threatened to pull away with an 11-3 run that erected an 81-72 lead with five minutes left.
Ginebra, however, showed its never-say-die attitude and completed its own 11-3 run to come to within 83-84 barely two minutes left in the game.
But San Miguel, which was the top team all-conference long, scored seven straight points in the final two minutes, capped by a Santos dunk, to put the game away and give the Beermen their 23rd title in the league.
San Miguel has been the hottest team in the league in recent years, as it has won four titles in the last seven conferences.
Alex Cabagnot chipped in 18 points while Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross added 12 points each.
Ross, who also had eight rebounds, 10 assists and six steals, was later named Finals MVP. He was also the Finals MVP when the Beermen made history by coming back from a 0-3 deficit to beat the Alaska Aces in last year’s All-Filipino championship series.
SAN MIGUEL 91 – Fajardo 21, Santos 21, Cabagnot 18, Ross 12, Lassiter 12, Espinas 4, Tubid 3, De Ocampo 0.
GINEBRA 85 – Aguilar 26, Devance 20, Mercado 20, Tenorio 10, Marcelo 4, Thompson 3, Caguioa 2, Ferrer 0.
Quarterscores: 27-21, 51-41, 63-61, 91-85.
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