GAME Four of the PBA Philippine Cup finals was down at the final 3:31 mark when JayVee Casio hit a booming three-pointer to give Alaska a comfortable 93-82 lead and put it on the verge of a sweep of the best-of-seven series against defending champion San Miguel.
Unfortunately, the confetti never fell.
Instead, the Beermen managed to pull off a miracle, dragging the Aces into overtime before stealing this game, 110-104, to score a breakthrough win in the championship series.
To many, it was the turning point in what would become the greatest ever comeback in the league’s 41-year history.
“Yes, I think so,” stressed San Miguel coach Leo Austria, who specifically mentioned PBAPC-Cignal Finals MVP Chris Ross for instigating that huge San Miguel comeback.
“They were leading by 11 in the last three minutes, but because of Chris Ross, they (Beermen) refused to lose.”
Alaska veteran Dondon Hontiveros agreed with the soft-spoken San Miguel coach.
“I think it was, because we were up,” he recalled. “And even 'nung overtime we were still up at the start.”
Back-to-back baskets by Vic Manuel had the Aces regaining the lead at 102-98, but Ross was there again to answer the call for the reigning champions, his two free throws tying the game (102-all) and touching off a closing 12-2 run for the win.
It was all the Beermen needed to get back on track in the series on their way to authoring one of the most memorable championships ever in the PBA.
“Who would have imagined this?” said Austria. “We’re down 0-3 and no one has ever recovered from such situation.”
“I just told them whenever there’s a chance, you have to work hard for it.”
And the San Miguel Beermen did exactly that.