MANILA – Destiny was on the side of the San Miguel Beermen 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.
Chris Ross was named Finals MVP for his superb performance and leadership throughout the grueling series. He finished with a conference-high 21 points on 4-of-6 3-pointers along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists in Game 7, and averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.7 steals in these finals.
Marcio Lassiter had 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and two steals, while Arwind Santos registered 13 markers, 10 boards and 3 blocks.
Alaska had Chris Banchero leading the way with 21 points, 16 of which he poured in the fourth quarter. He also had 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Calvin Abueva posted 16 markers with 10 coming in the final frame on top of 9 boards and 3 dimes. Cyrus Baguio had 10 points and 11 rebounds as the Aces were out-rebounded, 62-50, and had only 13 assists as a team compared to the Beermen’s 20.
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.