May 25, 2024

San Miguel breaks Magnolia's heart anew, hoists 29th PBA trophy

San Miguel breaks Magnolia
Photo (c) Sherwin Vardeleon

On Valentine’s Day, San Miguel took the role of heartbreakers.

The Beermen frustrated Magnolia, 104-102, to seize their record-extending 29th title in Game Six of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.

San Miguel, which saw its 0-2 series edge wiped out against the Hotshots, made sure there is no Magnolia comeback this time as it completed its historic run that also gave head coach Jorge Gallent his first title in the league.

 

CJ Perez ran amok in the second half for the Beermen, pouring in the bulk of his 28 huge points there after a dismal four-point first half showing. He later lifted the PBA Press Corps-Honda Finals MVP trophy, a welcome addition to his personal silverware this conference after also copping the Best Player of the Conference award earlier. 

Import Bennie Boatwright and seven-time MVP June Mar Fajardo provided ample support, with the duo each logging in double-double numbers. Boatwright finished with 19 points and 13 boards that went with eight assists, three steals and two blocks while Fajardo was his usual beastly self with his 19-point and 12-rebound output. 

 

In the match that had all the trappings of a classic, the Beermen stared at a 90-79 deficit after the Hotshots' Rome dela Rosa knocked in a reverse layup against Fajardo. 

But San Miguel was quick to recover, with Boatwright capping a mini 5-0 run to keep things manageable. 

Perez took charge from there, scoring seven points inside the last three minutes including the booming triple with 48.7 ticks remaining to give the team a 103-99 buffer. 

But Magnolia, drawing confidence from its fightback from a 0-2 series deficit, refused to just roll over and die. 

Off a broken play, the Hotshots' Aris Dionisio was left open on top of the key and made the Beermen pay with a triple to keep things interesting, 103-102, with 20.1 seconds to go.

Perez went to the line but muffed both freebies in the ensuing play before Jericho Cruz split his shots in the foul line with over a second to go to seal the final tally. 


Paul Lee paced Magnolia with 25 points, while Tyler Bey added 18 markers, eight rebounds, four assists, and three blocks.