Chris Ross – instrumental in four straight wins by San Miguel – named the finals most valuable player.
PASAY, PHILIPPINES – San Miguel Beer finally achieved what no other professional basketball team in the world has done – come back from an 0-3 deficit in a best-of-seven series and bag the league title in the decisive match.
The Beermen completed a four-game sweep of Alaska to close out the series with a 96-89 win in front of a sold-out crowd of 23,616 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ross – who averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.7 steals – nabbed the Finals most valuable player award. He finished with 21 points on 3-for-4 shooting from three-point distance with five assists.
Leading the way was June Mar Fajardo with 21 points and 15 rebounds in 30 minutes of play. Marcio Lassiter added 15 points, while Arwind Santos had 13 in the win for the Beermen.
San Miguel annexed its 22nd title overall, and its sixth Philippine Cup triumph. They join the Purefoods Star Hotshots with the most Philippine Cup titles with six.
“I can’t fathom the four straight wins we made in this series,” said San Miguel Head Coach Leo Austria. “When we were down 0-3, all that we wanted was to win one game so that we won’t be swept. I really prayed hard for our first win because we were down by 11 points in the last 3:52 [in Game 4], I think that was the turning point.”
“My players, especially Chris Ross, refused to lose. He encouraged his teammates, and his leadership rubbed off on his teammates.”
Chris Banchero fired 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field, but Vic Manuel – seen as the Finals MVP had Alaska won the series – wound up with a paltry three points and five rebounds while nursing a back injury.
This was the second straight Philippine Cup finals that Alaska was foiled in Game 7 by San Miguel.
SAN MIGUEL 96 – Fajardo 21, Ross 21, Lassiter 15, Santos 13, Cabagnot 8, De Ocampo 7, Tubid 7, Espinas 2, Lutz 2, Heruela 0
ALASKA 89 – Banchero 21, Abueva 16, Baguio 10, Casio 8, Exciminiano 8, Hontiveros 6, Baclao 4, Jazul 4, Thoss 4, Dela Rosa 3, Manuel 3, Dela Cruz 2, Eman 0, Menk 0
Quarters: 22-16, 43-38, 68-51, 96-89