San Miguel Beer (SMB) banked on the prowess of center June Mar Fajardo to sweep Alaska 91-81 in Game Four of the best-of-seven Championship round of 40th Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday. SMB lifted their 21st title in front of a cheering crowd of 14, 246.
The San Miguel Beermen under head coach Leo Austria shattered the comeback attempt of Alaska of coach Alex Compton by thumping the Aces four consecutive times.
Back-to-back Most Valuable Player winner June Mar Fajardo posted 10 of his 19 points in the last quarter in addition to his 21 rebounds and two blocks for the Beermen. Forward Arwind Santos had 12 rebounds and six points, while Gabby Espinas contributed eight points also for SMB.
Import Arizona Reid scored 33 points along with six rebounds and four assists while gunner Marcio Lassiter added 12 points.
“I would like to thank Alaska first for making us a competitive team this season,” said Austria, who also helped San Miguel Beer win the Philippine Cup. “I’m very happy for the players.”
Alaska has a single point deficit at the end of first period 17-18 and played stronger in the second quarter to stretch the lead 49-37 at halftime.
San Miguel Beer, however, responded aggressively in the second half outscoring Alaska 33-16 in the third quarter to regain the lead at the end of that frame 70-65.
The Aces failed to recover from that point onward.
The Beermen sustained their momentum in the fourth canto to seal the victory bagging their 21st overall crown since joining the league in 1975.
Calvin Abueva led Alaska with 22 points and 17 rebounds.
Alaska import Romeo Travis scored a measly 15 points and had zero output in the fourth quarter.
Fajardo, who received his second consecutive MVP trophy during the annual Leo Prieto Awards held before Game Four begins, posted 3227 total points based on media, players and PBA votes plus the player’ s season statistical performances.
He joined the elite ranks back-to-back MVP winners Danny Ildefonso (1999-2000), Alvin Patrimonio (1993-1994) and Bogs Adornado (1975-1976).
Fajardo, who averaged 15.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in the elimination round also bagged the Sportsmanship Award as well as the First Mythical Team Award, which was also given to Jayson Castro of Talk N’ Text, Paul Lee of Rain or Shine, Arwind Santos of San Miguel Beer and Greg Slaughter.