“Fear the Beer” they said, because they will be a difficult one they said.
San Miguel Beer just instilled yet another proof of that “Fear the Beer” notion on a nerve-wracking Finals Game 5 in front of a 20,000 plus-strong crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on a Sunday night.
Balloons and confettis filled the Big Dome to celebrate the San Miguel Beermen’s 91-85 victory over a lionhearted Barangay Ginebra side to bag the prestigious PBA Philippine Cup Perpetual Championship Trophy after their three-straight All-Filipino Cup Championships.
This is also San Miguel Beer’s 23rd PBA Championship since the powerhouse squad staged in the Philippine Basketball Association.
As expected, June Mar Fajardo was just the gigantic “Kraken” he is when he dauntlessly secured the shaded lane to limit Ginebra scorers in the likes of Tenorio, DeVance, Aguilar, and Thompson from scoring baskets underneath.
“The Kraken” did not only excel in his heavy stance underneath, he also knocked down timely baskets at the same time, thereby heightening the momentum for Coach Leo Austria’s Beermen throughout the thrilling ballgame.
It only made it worse for Ginebra when the combined shooting prowess of Chris Ross, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, and Marcio Lassiter, revved all at once halfway through the joust.
The Ross-Lassiter connection sparked at the right place, at the right time that their treys seemed to mix the tempo that basically fueled San Miguel more on the second half despite DeVance’s heroic stance to spearhead a Ginebra comeback.
Coach Tim Cone’s Kings fought back as much as they can and still held on for dear life when they were just 4 points away from San Miguel, 87-83, with just 1:07 left in the fourth quarter clock.
But no thanks to Chris Ross’ emphatic inverse layup which sent the Beermen faithful wilder as San Miguel stretched to 89-83 with under a minute left en route to the Championship buzzer.
Thompson attempted a trey in hopes of saving the game for Ginebra, but to no avail, and it was all San Miguel Beer from there as Arwind Santos displayed his Spiderman Slam which proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
And San Miguel Beer was hailed the PBA Philippine Cup Champion once again.
Chris Ross, who delivered a stellar performance since the Best-of-Seven Finals Series began, was hailed as the Philippine Cup 2017 Finals MVP after capping off with averages of 17.2 points, 9.2 assists, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.8 steals throughout the Championship Series.
The reigning Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo scored 21 markers, while “The Spiderman” Arwind Santos had 21 as well for the Perpetual Champion, San Miguel Beermen.
Two of San Miguel Beer’s shooters also finished with flying colors in the likes of Alex Cabagnot with 18 points, and Marcio Lassiter with 12 hits.
SAN MIGUEL BEER (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.