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2013 PBA GOVERNORS’ CUP FINALS: PETRON OUT FOR RECLAMATION

The last time the franchises of Petron Blaze and San Mig Coffee met in a PBA Finals was more than a decade ago, in the 2000 PBA Governors’ Cup championship series. Both teams carried different monikers back then, with Petron Blaze still known as the San Miguel Beermen and San Mig Coffee then labeled the Purefoods TJ (Tender Juicy) Hotdogs.

It was a great best-of-seven series characterized by pretty close games, especially Games One to Three, which were decided by an average of 4.3 points only. Incidentally, the Beermen won all of those first three contests en route to a 4-1 series triumph. That was the third Govs’ Cup title for San Miguel, and it was a successful defense of the crown they also held in 1999 at the expense of the Alaska Milkmen.

The twister-ish import Lamont Strothers teamed up with eventual Finals MVP Danny Seigle and Season MVP Danny Ildefonso to spearhead the Beermen in that conference. It was, in many ways, the peak of San Miguel’s dominance at the turn of the century. The 2000 Govs’ Cup was the franchise’s fourth in the previous five PBA conferences (missing just the 2000 All-Filipino title), coach Jong Uichico was then undefeated (4-of-4) in any PBA Finals, and, well, the two Dannys were clicking like crazy.

It’s interesting to see that, in the current conference, the still-glorious franchise is back in the thick of the title fight. Like Strothers and the two Dannys back in the day, a great combo of locals and a hardworking import will form the bulk of the backbone for Petron Blaze.

Elijah Millsap, the brother of 6-8 NBA power forward Paul Millsap, who recently signed with the Atlanta Hawks, has been on a tear for the Boosters. Millsap is currently norming 27.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.2 steals, and nearly two triples an outing. He should be a nightmarish match-up for the opposing Mixers because of his shiftiness, athleticism, and range, and he would surely want to bring back some hardware to the States by winning a title here in Manila.

The former University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazer can also count on a ton of local support, especially from the likes of June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, and Alex Cabagnot. Fajardo, in particular, has been stellar since returning from his tour of duty with the Gilas Pilipinas national team. The man-child known as the Kraken is currently averaging 11.6ppg, 9.6rpg, and 1.6bpg while shooting close to 60% from the field. He is, in fact, the second most efficient player in the league (based on stats) right behind Ginebra’s LA Tenorio. Fajardo is carrying a 34.0 EFF rating, while Tenorio is just a little better at 38.8.

Santos and Cabagnot have been quite steady, too. The two quintessential Petron players are both in the Top 10 most efficient players in the conference, which is a big reason the Boosters topped the standings at the end of the single-round elims. Santos is pumping in 12.4ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.3bpg, and 1.1 spg, while Cabagnot is norming 12.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.2apg, and 1.1spg. Cabagnot is also shooting better than 40% from three-point area and has made 24 triples already. He is third in the league in three-point percentage and second overall in threes made.

The top marksman? His teammate, Marcio Lassiter. He has been on a roller-coaster ride in his young PBA career, but it seems this conference has really been his shining moment. As of now, the former Gilas stalwart is second overall in three-point percentage (46%) and has the most three-point makes in the conference (29 makes in 14 games). He is currently putting up 12.9ppg, 3.8rpg, and 1.0spg.

With so many weapons at his disposal, and most of them quite healthy, coach Gee Abanilla surely has a lot of flexibility to work with when it comes to attacking the Mixers. His squad is out to reclaim a title it last held in 2011, when Petron snuffed out Talk N Text’s hopes for an historic grand slam, and, by doing so, the Boosters should, indeed, cement their collective status as the nation’s top pro hoops club. (EFlojo)

Enzo Flojo is new here on the PBA site, but he has been writing about all things basketball for quite some time now. You can read more of his stuff on his nationally-recognized blog, HoopNut.com, on the college hoops site,Inboundpass.com, or you can follow him on Twitter — @HoopNut.

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  • nothin’elsematters

    Yeah PETRON!!!
    Go for the 20th championship!!!

  • Mike

    No match ang ROS

    • hardol

      Tama… nawala ang angas ng ROS….

      • Drillon Recto

        Tama. Angas can only get you so far. In ROS case, 4th game.

  • lonskie86

    petron is very tough! no doubt! because this team was composed of mostly all star players. they simply dominated the whole tournament so far. No doubt this conference belongs to them. I do believe that san mig coffee can pull the upset but its not going be easy.

    • alapag#3

      Yun nga..
      If matatalo sila ng SMC this finals, very big disappointment yun..
      Sana pre, ganun parin sila hanggang matapos ang serye…

      • lonskie86

        sabi nga nila bilog ang bola.

      • weirdlion

        Magandang match up ang dalawang team na ito. Si Tim Cone lang ang lamang dito sa experience he he he.kung sa individual match up at palakasan ng line up pantay sila. Si Marcus Blakely lang ang naiiba at maging sakit ng ulo ng Petron sa finals….sino kaya pantapat nila kay Blakely????

        • NGA-NGA ANG MGA BADING NA SMC

          BOB0 NMN SA FREE THROW C BLAKELY KAYA LAMANG PETRON JAN ^_^

  • jack94

    PBA ang mananalo dyan……………..

  • Cute Anzai

    dahil wala ng alaska ko… pero gusto kong lumaban pustahan sa mga tropa ko.. pansamantala na sa PETRON muna ang 10K for the 20th Champs…

    ipanalo nyo sana ako gaya nung panalo ko sa Alaska nung talunin ang GINEBRA! hehehe

    • Drillon Recto

      Todo mo na pusta. Petron na yan!

    • Donnie Ray Salde

      Wala, nawala lakas ng ALASKA this conference. Nawala gigil sa laro. Yabang pinairal nung ibang players at ng Coach. Hay! Last Conference. It’s Red (ALASKA-Ginebra) This conference. It’s Blue- Petron and SAN MIG!!! Ang hirap kung sino mananalo!!! Sino ba mga brad????

      • weirdlion

        20 k sa San Mig Coffee ako sa ermita tayo magkita update pls!!!!!

        • weirdlion

          Sorry hindi ikaw

      • weirdlion

        Sorry hindi ikaw nagkamali pala ako ng pindot

      • Cute Anzai

        oo nga sayang…

    • weirdlion

      20k San Mig ako sa Ermita tayo magkita. Update plsssss!!!

      • Cute Anzai

        hahaha.. ok na sana kaya lang sagad na ko ngayon pare… kailangan ko pera ngayon,, papasko kasi.. saka malayo ako sa manila ngayon dito ako province sa laguna… dito ako lumalaban… yan lang pinagkaiba ng ibang fans ng san mig at ginebra, ung taga ginebra puro bunganga lang e… hehehe…

        • weirdlion

          Ok goodluck!!!

  • ColectIvSoWl

    Go Petron!!!
    Bring home the crown!!!

  • bhong biona

    ohhh talaga baka hanggang stats nalang yan mga yan;:;;;;:::::tingnan nalang natin pag dating sa game 1 2 & 3 mahab pa ang serye best of 7 tau e

    • alapag#3

      Yung stats ang mag sasabi kong gaano ka efficient ang isang player mag laro..
      Pero para fair naman sau, hintayin na lang natin..Pero sa totoo lang, underdog dito yung team mo pre..

      • Drillon Recto

        Sabi nga ni Kris Aquino. It’s Petron! Yap, Yap, Yap!

      • bhong biona

        cguro sa stats nga ang basihan mo kaya nasabing under dog;;;;;;;;;tingin ko hindi lng sa stats binabasihan yan sa experience ilang championship na ba ang nilaro ng mga player ng petron at ilang championship na ba ang nilaro ng san mig players

      • bhong biona

        sa madalitt sabi veterance na ang san mig pag dating sa championship pwera ky danny i na hindi naman ganung babad sa rotation ni caoch gee

  • TotoyBat0

    Petron Blaze is back in familiar territory.. The PBA Finals.

    • wilma

      yes..I agree..that’s where they belong

  • AkO*ang*HARI

    Finals na… itodo na ang depensa at opensa
    Go Go Go PETRON!!!

  • Penemuel

    Now, this is real basketball.
    No bells, no whistles, no primadonnas, no stiffs auditioning for an acting job, no annoying sideshows.

    This will be great!

    Go San Mig!

    • NGA-NGA ANG MGA BADING NA SMC

      TOMBOY

      • Penemuel

        Ahahaha!
        Move on, b*tches! :-) YOU LOST.

        Di na nga kayo maka-tulog dahil hinahanap-hanap niyo ako eh.
        Ahahaha!
        See you next season, Ginebra fans! Ahahahaha!

  • wilma

    very well written..no other team could do it better than Petron/smb..though I also like sanmig, being a sister team..getting rid of the other wannabe teams is worth it..

  • Donnie Ray Salde

    Looks like this championship will reach until Game 7….. pero mahirap mag predict kung sino ang mananalo…… # 1 vs. #2….

    • Drillon Recto

      Petron of course. No prediction required. Maximum game 6 to make it interesting and to keep the cash register pinging.

      • Donnie Ray Salde

        Ahaha. Alright!!! With Petron’s impressive boost with their players this conference…. I can’t speak until game 1 is finish….

        • Drillon Recto

          Ok Game 1 is finished. You can speak now. 41 4th-quarter pts?

          • Donnie Ray Salde

            That’s big man! I was not able to watch the 3rd and 4th quarter…. Pero dumikit ang SAN MIG nung 2nd qtr. Hindi naman ma sweep yan… Pero in the end looks like it’s gonna be PETRON…. Is Coach Gee Abanilla will also be A Luigi Trillo this conference….. Wait na lang natin mga repa!

  • Drillon Recto

    The PBA is an unbalanced league similar to the NBA (which is where it was patterned from). Owners with deep pockets (SMB, Alaska, etc.) of course get the best players while those who don’t (ROS, Global Port, etc.) only get the on-the-fringe, out-of-luck players. These small time teams can compete alright but at the end of the day, those who got superstars always come on top (again just like NBA). I think the PBA should impose its own version of luxury tax to keep the small teams competitive.

  • jack94

    alaska ang mananalo diyan!!!!!

    • NGA-NGA ANG MGA BADING NA SMC

      MAG PAKAMATAY KNA

  • weirdlion

    My bet: best import : Marcus Blakely….. BPC -Junemar Fajardo or Alex Cabagnot….

  • NGA-NGA ANG MGA BADING NA SMC

    TALO SANMIG D2 PURO BADING KC EH ^_^

  • Arjohn Partt Qoe Arma

    sa tingin ko magbibigayan yan kasi sister company yan eh..!! sa tingin ko lng..

  • Arjohn Partt Qoe Arma

    thnkz petron .. malaki din panalo ko sa inyo.. :) tiwala ko sa line up nyo.. lahat malakas!! :)

  • Felmar Mercurio Baugan

    Petron is awesome, they will definitely win this tournament.

  • MYshanesteven filan

    SADLY, petron wins … such a cruel blowout for papa ping on his birthday..haizt….

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