It has been quite a while since San Miguel Beer won the all-Filipino title in the PBA.
For some of the San Miguel crew, having to hoist the Bernardino Trophy was a sweet feeling.
Chris Ross, one of most grizzled among the San Miguel veterans, admitted he once contemplated retirement.
Ross said the pandemic has taken a toll on him, adding that he lost his father before he could fly back to the Philippines and play again.
"The struggle, going through so many downs, and working back to get to where I could be, ever since the pandemic we hadn't won (a title)," he said in an interview on Off the Record.
"In November of last year, I honestly thought of retiring. To get back out there and win another championship is definitely a blessing."
Robert Herndon, for his part, got a lucky break by getting recruited to the San Miguel fold.
He was one of the Aces who were displaced when the Alaska team owners decided to leave the PBA.
"Before I joined the team I really didn't know what my situation was. I wasn't expecting Alaska to sell their team, they kind of put a lot of played in limbo. I actually didn't have plans to come back (from the US)," said Herndon.
"But my agent told me 'San Miguel wants to get you.' I gave it another try. I'm glad we were able to win."
For CJ Perez and Simon Enciso, having to win a PBA title for the first time in their careers definitely gave them a high.
"Pang year 4 ko ngayon sa PBA. Hindi ganoong kaganda yung unang tatlong taon, pero 'yun nga sa pang-apat na taon ko ibinigay ni God ang blessing," said Perez.
"I've been on top tiered teams, in lower tiered teams. The win showed that all my hard work paid off... always working, waiting for the time, the opportunity, I just never wavered, my perseverance really stuck through, now I'm a champion," said Enciso.
San Miguel had to go through a wringer before it could take its first All-Filipino crown in 3 years.
The Beermen went the full route to beat Talk 'N Text Tropang GIGA in a seesaw battle between the league's top teams.