MAJORITY of the 21,319 crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum chanted MVP! MVP! MVP! in reference to San Mig forward Marc Pingris as he made the free throws in the waning seconds of Game Seven of the PBA Governors Cup Finals against Petron.
They surely didn’t go home disappointed.
Pingris emerged as the PBA Press Corps-Papa Johns Pizza Finals Most Valuable Player following his heroic stand in the Mixers’ 87-77 win over the Boosters that gave the former Purefoods franchise the league’s season-ending championship at the Big Dome.
The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay finished with 19 points, 17 rebounds, and five block shots, while holding his own at the defensive end against Petron import Elijah Millsap and rookie big man June Mar Fajardo.
“This guy what can you say. He is all heart,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone as he gave the energetic power forward a kiss and a big hug amidst the pandemonium at center court.
“He did all the work for us. He was simply fantastic.”
Pingris averaged 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.5 blocks in the entire best-of-seven series as he beat out early favorite Marc Barroca for the honor.
"Ang isip ko laro lang talaga," said Pingris, who was overcame with emotion at the end of a game that put a fitting end to his season.
The 6-5 bruiser from Pozzorubio, Pangasinan was also among the heroes of Gilas Pilipinas when the national team finished runner-up to Iran in the last Fiba-Asia championships to punch a ticket to next year's Fiba World Cup in Spain.