San Miguel Beer shrugged off a slow start to survive Magnolia with a thrilling, 72-71, win to a historic fifth straight Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen struggled in the first half with a 25-38 deficit, including an all-time lowest quarter points in the second quarter, before unleashing a strong finishing kick to win Game 7 of this best-of-seven finals series.
With this, the Beermen sealed a spot in history with five straight All-Filipino titles.
Five-time Most Valuable Player and Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo finished with 17 points and and 31 rebounds – the highest among any local player in history — to emerge as Finals MVP.
He averaged 22.9 points, 19.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in this seven-game series.
Alex Cabagnot was also instrumental for San Miguel with 18 points, including the go-ahead basket in the last 57 seconds.
This fifth straight crown pushed the Beermen’s trophy haul to 26th overall to further cement their status as the most celebrated franchise in the 44-year league history.
Ian Sangalang put up 18 points and six rebounds for the Hotshots who wasted a chance to end the Beermen dynasty.