San Miguel makes history, wins PBA Philippine Cup title

Photo via rappler.com

Photo via rappler.com

By Jane Bracher/rappler.com – Destiny was on the side of the San Miguel Beermen Wednesday, February 3 as they completed a historic comeback to frustrate the Alaska Aces once again, 96-89, and win their second straight PBA Philippine Cup title.

The Mall of Asia Arena, for the first time in its young history, stood witness to a classic Game 7 as the Beermen won their 6th Philippine Cup trophy and the franchise’s 22nd title. They became the first team in PBA history to claw back from a 0-3 series deficit and win.

The all-Filipino conference title victory is the latest show of dominance from San Miguel, which won 3 of the last 4 championships — all at the expense of Alaska.

The Beermen appeared doomed from outset of the series without its reigning back-to-back MVP and this conference’s Best Player June Mar Fajardo, who was sidelined up until Game 4 with a knee injury.

The Aces built a daunting 3-0 lead before Fajardo eventually returned in Game 5 and bolstered San Miguel.

Alaska made an unusual early gamble with 3 straight timeouts in the first second of the game. Coach Alex Compton then made a platoon substitution, leaving only Cyrus Baguio from his starters, but it did not pay off as the Aces found themselves down by 21 points, 68-47, on an Arwind Santos 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 2:02 mark of the third.

Alaska, known for mounting huge comebacks, had one final rally for the road as they unleashed a 17-7 run led by Calvin Abueva to start the fourth period to cut the deficit to 77-72 with 6:51 to go.

But the Beermen would not have a meltdown as Santos drained another triple and Chris Ross scored back-to-back on layups to re-establish an 84-72 advantage with 4:48 left.

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