July 13, 2024

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San Miguel Beermen capture PBA Commissioner’s Cup title

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HAIL THE CHAMPS. Players, coaches, and officials of the San Miguel Beermen celebrate their PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship after beating Magnolia Hotshots, 104-102, in Game 6 of their best-of-seven title series held on February 14, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. PBA PHOTO

The San Miguel Beermen clinched the PBA Commissioner’s Cup crown in a heart-stopping Game 6 against the formidable Magnolia Hotshots. With a remarkable surge in the last five minutes, the Beermen orchestrated a comeback to seize a dramatic 104-102 victory, reclaiming their dominance with a 4-2 series win.

The Beermen’s triumphant effort was fueled by a trio of standout players—CJ Perez, Jericho Cruz, and Chris Ross. 

In a defensive battle where opposing imports were locked in a fierce contest, these three players emerged as the offensive powerhouses, orchestrating an unforgettable comeback from a nine-point deficit in the final 4:51 mark.

Coach Jorge Gallent, in his first finals as head coach in the country’s premier cage league, led his team to a golden effort.

Despite trailing for most of the game, the Beermen showcased resilience, refusing to concede defeat.

Perez held to a mere four points in the first half, ignited in the final half, exploding for an impressive 24 points. 

His pivotal three-pointer with 48.7 seconds remaining not only shifted the momentum but also secured the lead at 103-99, ultimately sealing the fate of the game.

Perez’s stellar performance throughout the series earned him the Finals MVP title, completing a remarkable sweep after winning the Best Player of the Conference honors earlier. 

His achievement mirrored that of June Mar Fajardo in the previous season’s Philippine Cup.

However, Perez’s heroics in Game 6 were complemented by a collective team effort. 

Despite the Hotshots’ relentless challenge and a double-digit lead for Magnolia in the fourth quarter, the Beermen pressed on. 

Successive defensive stops and clutch three-pointers from Cruz, Ross, and Perez swung the momentum decisively in favor of the Beermen.

The Hotshots, led by Paul Lee’s resilient three-pointers, fought tooth and nail to maintain control. Yet, the Beermen matched them stop for stop, fire for fire, ultimately snatching victory at the buzzer.

The Beermen’s triumph in Game 6 marked their 29th championship in the league overall, securing their fifth title in the Commissioner’s Cup and 19th in all import-flavored tournaments. 

The series, highlighted by earlier victories in Games 1, 2, 3, and 5, solidified their status as PBA powerhouses.

With confetti raining down and jubilant fans cheering, the Beermen stood tall as champions, savoring the sweet taste of victory in a hard-fought and unforgettable series.

The boxscores:

San Miguel 104 – Perez 28, Fajardo 19, Boatwright 19, Cruz 12, Trollano 10, Ross 9, Tautuaa 4, Enciso 2, Teng 1, Lassiter 0, Brondial 0.

Magnolia 102 – Lee 25, Bey 18, Sangalang 16, Jalalon 12, Barroca 11, Dela Rosa 9, Dionisio 7, Abueva 4, Tratter 0, Escoto 0.

Quarterscores: 22-26; 46-51; 73-82; 104-102.

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