San Miguel completes comeback win over Magnolia to bag 29th PBA title

Congratulations, SMB! Fear the Beer! (PBA)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Winners show their true colors in the face of adversity.

In another difficult situation after being down by double digits in the pivotal Game 6, the San Miguel Beermen just showed the entire world that they are the epitome of class, victory, and grace.

Eager to win the sixth game of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship series against the Magnolia Hotshots Chicken Timplados to avoid a Game 7 rubber match, the Beermen shocked the thousands in attendance at the Araneta Coliseum after pulling off a come-from-behind 104-102 victory to raise a record-extending 29th PBA title as a franchise.

With their backs against the wall, San Miguel relied on their veteran mob in the final crucial stretch of the final frame to kick off their grand comeback.

Magnolia still led by 11 points, 90-79, midway through the fourth quarter and were all pumped up after the Beermen called a timeout to reset their game plan.

Little did they know that an unexpected offensive storm would be making its way as the Beermen quickly flipped the switch and hosted a timely three-point party that helped them inch closer.

Jericho Cruz kicked off San Miguel’s valiant comeback effort after scoring off an offensive put-back that trimmed Magnolia’s lead to just five points.

After that energetic play, CJ Perez, the conference’s best player, added another deuce for the Beermen when he finished a breakaway layup during a fast break transition.

With the game shifting to a one-possession affair, the Beermen began to smell blood and locked up Magnolia’s perimeter.  However, Paul Lee refused to give up as he drained a long three-pointer that put the Chicken Timplados ahead again by six points, 98-92.

The next offensive sequences for the Beermen just went their way as Perez nailed a side step layup followed by a Cruz trey that pulled them to within a point, 98-97, with only 1:43 remaining in the game.

Magnolia converted a charity stripe shot that increased their lead to a deuce, 99-97, but Chris Ross nailed the go-ahead triple that gave San Miguel a 100-99 lead.

Perez then splashed the cold-blooded three-pointer of the night from the left elbow that put the Beermen up in front, 103-99.

Aries Dionisio tried to keep Magnolia within striking distance when he nailed a quick three-pointer but San Miguel sealed their victory after collecting two straight offensive rebounds off their free throw misses.

Perez was named as the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) after tallying 24 points in the crucial Game 6.

Meanwhile, reinforcement Bennie Boatwright chipped in 19 markers, 13 boards, eight assists, and three steals while June Mar Fajardo added 19 points and 12 rebounds.