MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – San Mig Coffee weathered Rain or Shine's third-quarter fightback and hammered out a 93-87 victory to claim the 2014 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night.
It was the first back-to-back title win for the franchise, which claimed its third championship crown under coach Tim Cone.
Rain or Shine looked determined to force the series to Game 7 after fighting its way out of a 17-point deficit for a 67-66 lead going to the payoff period, but Mark Barroca and Ian Sangalang went the extra mile to end the series, 4-2.
Barroca finished with 24 points on 9-of-16 field goal shooting for the Mixers. He was named as the Finals Most Valuable Player with a series average of 12 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.
Sangalang, the 2013 second-overall draft pick, had 15 points and did much of the damage in the fourth quarter when they were fighting off Rain or Shine.
The Mixers went through the wringer just to win the title, having outlasted Barangay Ginebra in 7 semifinal games. Against Rain or Shine, they needed 6 games to complete the job.
“Una sa lahat nagpapasalamat ako kay Lord sa pagkapanalo kasi nga ipine-pray ko na sana ibigay sa amin. Ang hirap ng series na ito against Rain or Shine. Alam naman namin na ang Rain or Shine ay kontrapelo namin,” said Barroca following the win.
The point guard said the best-of-7 duel played to their favor as the series played out.
“Habang tumatagal yung series parang naging comfortable ako sa laro, kasi yung una hindi ako makapag adjust kasi sobrang lalaki ni Gabe [Norwood] 'yung mga tumatao sa akin,” said Barroca.
The win also gave Cone his record-breaking 16th title win as a coach, surpassing the league record set by legendary coach Baby Dalupan.
“I'm just happy that the younger generations are getting to know his (Dalupan) name because I've been able to tie and go ahead. They talk about him as well... it gives me goosebumps,” said Cone.
Game 6, however, didn’t go without controversy.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao and his players threatened to cut the game short by walking out 11:39 minutes in the second quarter. The Elasto Painters were down 17-30 when they walked out in protest against the game officiating.
They eventually returned after PBA Commissioner Chito Salud talked to the Rain or Shine team owners. Rain or Shine was issued a warning by the game officials for delaying the game, while Guiao was meted a technical foul for instigating the walk out.
The ploy seemed to fire up the Elasto Painters as they recovered from the first half-slump to take a 67-66 lead by the end of the third.
Barroca and Sangalang and PJ Simon, however, took over in final quarter to give San Mig Coffee a 84-78 lead.
Beau Belga and Paul Lee tried to rally the Elasto painters but their efforts were in vain.
Guiao vented his frustrations by taking the ball away from the referee during an inbound play. He was handed another technical and was ejected from the game.
Lee finished the game with 23 points, while Belga tallied 21. Jeffrei Chan, the hero of their Game 5 win, settled for 7 points.
San Mig Coffee 93 - Barroca 24, Sangalang 15, Devance 12, Pingris 12, Yap 10, Simon 9, Reavis 5, Mallari 4, Melton 2.
Rain or Shine 87 - Lee 23, Belga 21, Cruz 11, Chan 7, Quinahan 6, Rodriguez 6, Arana 5, Tiu 3, Ibanes 3, Norwood 2, Almazan 0, Tang 0.
Quarterscores: 30-17, 49-43, 66-67, 93-87