San Miguel Beer held off Barangay Ginebra, 91-85, in Game 5 of their best-of-seven championship series to win its third straight PBA Philippine Cup title Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos each scored 21 points while Chris Ross was again spectacular on both ends of the floor with 12 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists and six steals for the Beermen, who recovered after blowing a 12-point lead in the third quarter.
“Winning the three-peat is the biggest highlight of my career,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria, who steered the Beermen to their fourth crown in the last seven conferences.
San Miguel went on a 7-0 spurt capped by Santos’ signature dunk inside the last two minutes to put Ginebra away, 91-83, with only 24 seconds left.
The Kings, who trailed by as much as nine midway through the fourth quarter, pulled to within one, 84-83, after a 3-pointer by LA Tenorio with 2:28 remaining.
Japeth Aguilar fired a game-high 26 points that went with 16 rebounds while Joe Devance had a near triple-double with 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Gin Kings.