Wednesday, July 9, 2014
GRAND SLAM | San Mig Coffee clinches historic feat after outlasting Rain or Shine in Game Five classic
The San Mig Coffee Mixers clinched a historic Grand Slam – something accomplished just four times prior in PBA history – after barely edging Rain or Shine, 92-89, in a classic do-or-die Game Five in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
San Mig Coffee clinched a fourth straight championship and completed a historic sweep of all three conferences this season to give coach Tim Cone his 18th career championship and the honor of being the only coach to win the Grand Slam twice.
James Yap posted 29 points and eight rebounds while import Marqus Blakely missed out on a triple-double with 20 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists in a tremendous showing in a high-pressure closeout game.
Joe Devance added 11 points while Yap’s fellow ‘Big Three’ members each scored 10.
Rain or Shine was led by Best Import of the Conference Arizona Reid, who was hobbled with an ankle injury but came alive to score 19 of his 23 points in the second half, and Paul Lee, who scored 21.
San Mig Coffee led by five points, 43-38, at the half with Yap scoring 14 points over the first two periods.
The Mixers then opened the third with a 14-6 run that opened up a 57-44 lead before pushing the advantage up to a whopping 16 points, 69-53, later in the period.
But the hobbling Reid finally got his game going. After scoring just four points in the first half, he scored 11 in the third quarter, including nine in a 17-4 Rain or Shine run as the Elasto Painters attacked the basket and crashed the boards late.
They cut the San Mig Coffee advantage to just three, 73-70, at the end of the third.
Rain or Shine backup Jonathan Uyloan scored on a layup at the top of the final period to bring the Elasto Painters to as close as a single point, 73-72.
But Yap came to the rescue for San Mig Coffee, hitting on a putback and a three-pointer to spark a 9-2 run that put the Mixers up by a more comfortable eight points, 82-74, with 7:10 remaining.
But the Elasto Painters were not yet done, Beau Belga and Reid led Rain or Shine as they got their running game going yet again, coming to within three, 90-87, at the last two minute mark of the contest.
Yap then hit a one-handed bank shot that Reid quickly countered on the other end.
But the final 1:30 of the game saw neither team score a basket as San Mig Coffee clinched the elusive triple crown.
Reid had a chance to send the game into overtime at the end but could not make his final shot.
SAN MIG COFFEE (92) – Yap 29, Blakely 20, Devance 11, Pingris 10, Simon 10, Barroca 6, Maliksi 4, Sangalang 2, Mallari 0, Reavis 0, Melton 0.
RAIN OR SHINE (89) – Reid 23, Lee 21, Almazan 11, Norwood 11, Belga 7, Chan 6, Arana 4, Uyloan 2, Cruz 2, Tiu 2, Ibanes 0, Rodriguez 0.
Quarterscores: 23-16, 43-38, 73-70, 92-89.
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