SAN MMIGUEL BEER BACK ON
(from the Manila Bulletin by DAVE COROS)
Manila, Sept. 16, 1999 - San Miguel Beer ended a five-year title drought by defeating Formula Shell, 74-64, in last night's Game 6 of the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the PhilSports Arena.
Inspired by their remarkable comeback in the semifinals and the challenge by Shell's resurgence in Games 3 and 4, the Beermen stifled the Zoom Masters with a tenacious defensive effort and closed out the best-of-seven series four games to two.
The Beermen ripped the game open in the second quarter where they held the Zoom Masters to only three field goals and a charity while pouring in the shots for a 33-21 halftime advantage.
"It's unexplainable," said SMB rookie coach Jong Uichico when asked about his feelings. "I will cherish this for a long while."
But he said the success he now enjoys would not be possible without the guidance of his long-time mentor Ron Jacobs.
"I wouldn't reach this far without him. I owe him a lot and our partnership led us to this successful evening," said the 37-year old Uichico, who gave the franchise its 12th championship, one shy of tying the fabled Crispa Redmanizers for most number of trophies.
Terq Mott, the conference's best import, turned in 31 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and dished out seven assists but it was Danny Seigle who broke the heart and spirit of the Zoom Masters by exploding with eight points during that run in the second quarter.
"I congratulate San Miguel. They are a class organization. They gave it their best shot and we threw everything that we could. We are a team that will always give our best shot but tonight is San Miguel's night," said Shell coach Perry Ronquillo after the loss.
"Our size disadvantage really was the big factor. Except for John, they didn't have to double-team us while we had to do it to everybody in their team," he added.
San Miguel entered the fourth period with a 55-44 lead. But Best, playing with five fouls, Victor Pablo and Noy Castillo combined to pull Shell within 59-63 with 5:35 remaining.
But Freddie Abuda made a key putback and Mott hit a baseline turnaround shot and a thunderous dunk over Benjie Paras as the Beermen stomped down the threat with a 7-2 run.
Shell was not finished. A searing rally put the Zoom Masters to within 59-63, 5:35 left. But somehow, the miracle Shell had been waiting for never came as Shell misfired crucial shots and turned the ball over when they needed to score.
SAN MIGUEL 74 - Mott 31, Seigle 15, Racela 14, Belasco 4, Abuda 4, Victoria 3, Ildefonso 2, Lago 1.
FORMULA SHELL 64 - Best 26, Pablo 9, Jackson 8, Paras 8, Castillo 7, Esplana 6, Mendoza 0, Marzan 0.
Quarters: 15-14, 33-21, 55-44, 74-64
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
© Copyright, 1999 by PHILIPPINE
HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved