Mendoza.File photo

Mendoza: SMB’s latest title came in unadulterated fashion

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BASKETBALL buffs continue to swoon over San Miguel Beer’s latest feat of winning the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup. Many can’t seem to find the right words to describe how amazing the Beermen have been after all these years of plowing in Asia’s first play-for-pay loop.

Well, me too?

For, wonder of wonders that San Miguel Beer has never lost its touch 49 years to the day it became a founding member in 1975 of what would turn out to be the most durable league this side of the globe. Of all the 10-plus original members of the PBA, only SMB has remained. That stands now as a cornerstone etched in granite.

To honor the Beermen with a crown that will read “Lifetime Achievement Award” would be an understatement.

But that can’t be avoided. Any badge of honor for SMB will come as naturally as birth follows conception. And that might come next year, when the PBA celebrates its golden anniversary?

When it finally comes, a more appropriate word of accolade to describe the shining accomplishments of the oldest league member, perhaps, is “Forever”— to be engraved in the trophy? That will encompass, embrace, everything. Eternal. Ultimate.

Which brings me back to SMB’s recent feat: By beating Magnolia in the import-laced conference, the Beermen extended their record title haul to 29. Literally unreachable.

To do that, the Beermen showed class, coupled with grit only a calibered crew like SMB could dish off.

Almost given up for lost when Magnolia practically took control of Game 6 up to the last two minutes, San Miguel rallied mightily like the real dragon that it is to snatch the title-clinching match out of the pits.

A rain of three successive triples from Jericho Cruz, Chris Ross and CJ Perez propelled the Beermen to a come-from-behind 104-102 victory over a totally stunned Hotshot squad in a game that all but shed sisterhood qualms—thanks to SMB’s purity of heart in upholding the highest tenets of ethical standards.

If at all, that crown-clincher in Game 6 was but a terse testament to San Miguel’s adherence to the sanctity of authenticity: a title is worth keeping when achieved in unadulterated fashion.

Top that.

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