SAN Miguel has regained its place as the king of the Philippine Cup.
The Beermen are back as PBA champions after a three-year wait in style, trouncing TNT, 119-97, in Game Seven on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
San Miguel vs TNT Game 7 recap
It was a return to the throne for San Miguel, whose previous championship came during the Commissioner’s Cup in 2019, the same year the Beermen last captured the Philippine Cup title for the fifth straight time.
This time though, San Miguel clinched the title for the first time since breaking the so-called ‘Death Five’ and several players winning their first-ever PBA crown of their careers.
One of those is CJ Perez, who joined forces with June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter in building a huge 17-0 run that enabled the Beermen to grab a 101-89 advantage after playing a sluggish third quarter.
Chris Ross, one of the holdovers from those five championships for San Miguel, put the exclamation points to the championship victory, nailing a long three and doing the ‘night night’ gesture after the shot, giving TNT a 116-94 lead.
Jayson Castro tried to carry TNT to victory but manpower woes eventually haunt his team. Head coach Chot Reyes missed Game Seven due to health protocols, while Poy Erram was thrown out of the game due after a flagrant foul penalty two late in the second quarter.
San Miguel won the series, 4-3, after taking the final two games of the championship affair.
Perez finished with 25 points, four rebounds, and seven assists in winning the crown in his first-ever finals appearance.
Fajardo had a double-double, contributing 19 points, 18 rebounds, and two blocks for San Miguel as he won the championship after going down with a serious knee injury before the 2020 season.
Fajardo was later named as the finals MVP.
Castro had a gallant stand as he had 32 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists, but TNT was outscored 35-8 in the final period. Mikey Williams had 22 points, 17 in the first.
TNT looked headed for the title after outscoring San Miguel, 34-18, in the third only for the Beermen to explode in the final period.
San Miguel 119 – Perez 25, Fajardo 19, Manuel 16, Lassiter 15, Tautuaa 13, Enciso 12, Ross 12, Cruz 4, Brondial 3, Canete 0, Faundo 0, Pessumal 0, Zamar 0.
TNT 97 – Castro 32, M. Williams 22, Pogoy 16, Rosario 11, Erram 7, K. Williams 6, Marcelo 3, Montalbo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Reyes 0, Alejandro 0.
Quarters: 29-31; 66-55; 84-89; 119-97.