San Miguel Beer celebrates winning its fifth straight all-Filipino championship. PBA Media Bureau
June Mar Fajardo finished with 17 points and league-record 31 rebounds to lead the Beermen to the title. PBA Media Bureau
June Mar Fajardo scored 17 points and pulled down a record 31 rebounds, as San Miguel Beer defeated Magnolia 72-71 to remain kings of the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Beermen had to claw their way out of a big deficit at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday to down a gritty Hotshots squad and extend their reign as all-Filipino champions to 5 seasons.
Alex Cabagnot finished with 18 points, while Arwind Santos added 17 points and 11 rebounds, to go with 3 3-pointers.
Terrence Romeo and Christian Standhardinger, first-time PBA champions, each tallied 4 points.
As much as San Miguel remains untouchable in this tournament, winning one for the thumb was far from easy.
Game 7 came down to the final seconds, and it was Cabagnot's fallaway jumper with 57 seconds left that decided the game.
With a chance to extend the 1-point lead after Cabagnot's shot, San Miguel turned the ball over as Marcio Lassiter fumbled an inbounds play.
But Magnolia came up empty in the ensuing possession when Jio Jalalon missed on the drive to the basket with less than 4 seconds remaining.
The Hotshots fouled Fajardo to stop the clock, but he missed his free throws. Without a timeout, Magnolia couldn't advance the possession and time ran out, giving the Beermen the win.
Magnolia was ahead by 17 points at one point — 43-26 early in the third — and held on to a 58-50 lead heading to the fourth.
That's when Magnolia went cold, making just 4 field goals, as San Miguel outscored the Hotshots 22-13 in the quarter.
Both teams shot dismally from the floor, but it was San Miguel that controlled the glass, outrebounding Magnolia 69-40.
Ian Sangalang paced Magnolia in scoring with 18 points.
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