San Mig Coffee grabs 39th PBA title

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

MANILA — San Mig Coffee kept its composure down the stretch to trounce Rain or Shine, 93-87, and captured its 11th crown Wednesday in the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Mark Barroca, James Yap, Marc Pingres, Joe Devance and rookie Ian Sangalang combined for 73 points to end the series, 4-2, and secured their second straight crown and sixth all-Filipino titles since 1988.

The pulsating Game 6 of the best-of-seven series, however, encountered some scary moments when coach Yeng Guiao and the rests of Rain or Shine walked out from the court and returned to their dugout over a call by the referee on Jay-Ar Quinahan, with still 11:39 remaining in the second quarter. Guiao and the Elasto Painters came back after
more than two minutes upon the prodding of team owner Raymund Yu.

San Mig Coffee wins 39th PBA title
A walkout may have marked Game 6 of the PBA Finals, but it will remain memorable for champion team San Mig as it towed coach Tim Cone to surpassing legendary Baby Dalupan as the league’s winningest coach. (PBA Media Bureau)


Coach Tim Cone, on the other hand, became the winningest coach in the league with 16 titles, surpassing coach Baby Dalupan's 15. “No one will surpass Baby as coach,” Cone said.

Other winning coaches were Norman Black with 10, Chot Reyes with 9 and Jong Uichico with 8.

“There is so much in this team. A lot of fans in Facebook or Twitter sent messages encouraging me to go for it. They are so inspiring,” said Cone, who won his third crown with San Mig Coffee and 13 with the Alaska Aces.

The Elasto Painters won the opening game in the series, 80-83, but lost in the second, 80-70 as well as the third 77-76. Then San Mig stretched the gap 3-1 folloing a 93-90 triumph in Game 4 and followed it up with an 81-74 win in Game 5 on Sunday.

San Mig started strong and even led by 17 points thrice until Paul Lee and Chris Tiu ignited a big run that moved them on top 69-68 still 11:05 remaining in the pivotal period.

Barroca, who was named the Finals MVP, scored a game high 24 points, Sangalang added 15, Pingres settled with 12 and 10 from Yap. June Peter Simon also contributed 9 points. Their victory likewise was a fitting tribute to former PBA chairman representing Purefoods in 2006 Ely Capacio, who passed away Sunday at age 58.

Paul Lee paced Rain or Shine with 23 points, Beau Belga scored 21 and 11 from Jervi Cruz. (FCC/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 27, 2014.


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