The San Mig Coffee Mixers are finally the champions of the Governors’ Cup.
After losing in the title round last year, the Mixers outlasted the Petron Blaze Boosters, 87-77, in Game Seven of the PLDT Telpad finals on Friday before 21,319 fans at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum to take the crown.
Marc Pingris finished with 19 points, 17 rebounds, and five blocks while anchoring the San Mig Coffee defense that ground the high-octane offense of Petron.
“Kayo po ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa akin,” he told fans after winning the title.
Pingris set the tone for San Mig Coffee, opening the game with six straight points over 6-foot-10 Petron center June Mar Fajardo. He also took on the challenge of defending Boosters import Elijah Millsap, who finished with a series-low 25 points.
But Pingris was far from the only hero for the Mixers. Best Import Marqus Blakely had 19 points, 13 rebounds, and four steals in yet another all-around performance for the Mixers. Peter June Simon added 16 points, while Joe Devance (11), Mark Barroca (10), and James Yap (8) had key hits as well.
The title was the 15th for San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone, tying the record of legendary coach Baby Dalupan at the top of the PBA’s all-time list.
“I’m very humbled at the moment,” said Cone. “Our boys worked so hard for it.”
June Mar Fajardo continued his dominant run through the series with 20 points and 15 rebounds, but struggled under the pressure of his first Game Seven appearance, shooting just 4-of-12 from the free throw line.
The rest of the Boosters struggled, as the team shot just 38 percent from the field.
The title capped a roller coaster tournament for the Mixers, who began the conference with a lowly 1-3 record.
“We felt early adversity would help us later on,” said Cone.
It was the 10th PBA title in Purefoods franchise history. It was also the team’s second championship win under coach Tim Cone.
» With triangle not working vs Alaska, Tim Cone finds another offense for San Mig Coffee
» ‘Nahahawa kami’: Banged-up Marc Pingris’ effort inspires James Yap, rest of San Mig Coffee
» Heart of a champion: San Mig Coffee survives dogfight with Alaska to force do-or-die