SAN Mig Super Coffee cemented its status as one of the great teams of the PBA, holding off a tenacious Rain or Shine side, 92-89, in do-or-die Game Five on Wednesday night to complete just the first grand slam in the pro league in 18 years.
James Yap banged in 29 points in yet another splendid performance in a big game while San Mig watched anxiously as Rain or Shine missed five open looks at a three-pointer in the endgame, any of which could have tied the game and potentially forced overtime.
When AZ Reid's final three-point shot bounced off the front rim at the buzzer, San Mig finally heaved a sigh of relief and celebrated its second successive Governors Cup championship, its fourth title in a row, and only the fifth grand slam in the league's 49 years.
"It's just a great feeling from a coaching standpoint," said San Mig coach Tim Cone after raising his all-time-record championship haul to 18 while entering the league record books once again as the only coach to win more than one grand slam.
The 3-2 win in the season-ending finals - fashioned out before a crowd placed at 23,234 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum - was in no way easy, as Rain or Shine battled back from a 16-point third-quarter deficit and gave the Mixers fits in the thrilling finish.
San Mig, in fact, made it harder for itself when Yap and guard Mark Barroca missed two free throws each inside the final 23 seconds that could have given the Mixers a little more breathing room.
"Grabe talaga," Cone, a longtime resident married to a Filipina, said of the cardiac finish.
Fortunately for the Mixers, Rain or Shine, one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league, couldn't buy a three-pointer when it needed one.
Paul Lee and Reid each had two open looks at a three-pointer and Jeff Chan one.
Not one fell.
Yap was eventually named Finals MVP after another performance that saw him live up to his 'Big Game' billing and add a grand slam to his long line of achievements.
Marqus Blakely flirted with a triple-double after finishing with 20 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists, while Joe Devance, Marc Pingris and PJ Simon scored 10 or more points in another balanced scoring attack.
A hobbling Reid led Rain or Shine with 23 points and 14 rebounds after playing through an ankle injury. Lee added 21 points, while Raymond Almazan and Gabe Norwood chipped in 11 points apiece.
San Mig 92 - Yap 29, Blakely 20, Devance 11, Pingris 10, Simon 10, Barroca 6, Maliksi 4, Sangalang 2, Mallari 0, Reavis 0, Melton 0.
Rain or Shine 89 - Reid 23, Lee 21, Almazan 11, Norwood 11, Belga 7, Chan 6, Arana 4, Uyloan 2, Cruz 2, Tiu 2, Ibanes 0, Rodriguez 0.
Quarterscores: 23-16, 43-38, 73-70, 92-89