San Mig Super Coffee Mixers win Governor's Cup-A A +A
Thursday, July 10, 2014
THE 39th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) ended in a classic fashion as the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers held on to clinch its first grandslam after escaping a 92-89 win over Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in a do-or-die Game 5 of the 2014 PLDT Home Telpad PBA Governor's Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday evening.
'Big Game' James Yap, who earned the nod as PBA Press Corps-Holcim Cement Finals MVP after averaging 16 points in the best-of-five series, delivered an all-around performance, pouring in 29 baskets from different angles through layups, three-pointers, and one-handers. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
San Mig import Marcus Blakel fell short to register a triple double, accounting for 20 markers, 16 boards and eight assists Marc Pingris and Joe Devance contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
San Mig Super Coffee Mixers captured 13 titles overall, tying with Crispa for the third most championship titles in the PBA.
Coach Tim Cone, who last earned his first grandslam honors with Alaska Aces in 1996, repeated history again, making him the only coach in the league to do it twice.
"It's so special to me seeing them achieving something this Grand Slam title. But the best part is when you watched them jumping and hugging each other, it's an outstanding feeling. On the other hand, all the credit goes to our fans, hearing them cheer for us was the boost we always needed and for that thank you," Cone said in a post-game interview via TV5.
Cone added, "I've got a great core of players in Yap, PJ, Joe, Marc, and of course Blakely. This team will not stop playing until the very end as long they believe in their chemistry and system."
After the game, Coach Tim Cone sprinted fast to the direction of Coach Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to congratulate him and his team for a wonderful series they have given.
"Yeng is a special coach, a good coach and a respectable one. They (ROS) gave us a tough series from the start of Game 1 up to the very end in this game," Cone added.
Arizona Reid, who played with a sore ankle, led the charge for the Elasto Painters with his personal contribution of 23 points alongside his 14 rebounds but wasn't enough to lift his team for the win while Paul Lee, meanwhile, added 21 points.
Cone, on the other hand, praised Blakely for his contribution from the start of the conference up to the end.
The San Mig Coffee Mixer's lead was once up by 16 points in the third quarter but the combination of Lee, Almazan, and injured Reid sparked a 17-4 run to trim the lead, 70-73, at the end of the third quarter.
ROS guard Jonathan Uyloan's layup cut the deficit to one point at the start of the final period but San Mig was able to counter it with a 9-2 run to push back the lead, 82-74.
Elasto Painters' rally, however, narrowed the gap, 87-90.
In the last minute, both Yap and Barroca missed four free throws, giving a chance for Rain or Shine to tie the game with a three-pointer. Yet, Jeff Chan and Lee failed in their desperate attempts to force the game into overtime.
"Nagpapasalamt ako kay God, sa aking teammates, sa aking family, at lalo na kay Coach Tim Cone. Pero mas nagpapasalamat ako sa walang sawa na suporta ng fans namin. Wala po kami dito ngayong kung wala kayo," Yap said.
Marc Pingris said, "History ito so thankful ako na bahagi ako rito."
PBA Commissioner Atty. Chito S. Salud thanked the fans of the PBA for their support.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 11, 2014.