SMB claims Bernardino Trophy after completing PH Cup three-peat at expense of Ginebra

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—The Jun Bernardino Trophy goes home to the San Miguel camp.

The Beermen became only the second team to permanently win the said trophy given to the team that will win the PBA Philippine Cup championship thrice through a 91-85 finals clinching win against Ginebra in front of 20,217 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.

SMB appeared to be pulling away early on as the team went up by as much as 12, 53-41, early in the third quarter.

But Ginebra held SMB to only 10 points the rest of the quarter and came to within two, 61-63, entering the final frame.

The Beermen tried to bury the hatchet anew after stretching their lead to nine, 81-72, with 5:14 to go, but the Barangay went on an 11-3 blast to come to within one, 83-84, with 2:24 left.

A putback by June Mar Fajardo sparked the deciding 7-0 run highlighted by a huge block by Arwind Santos on Japeth Aguilar and an incredible follow-up by Chris Ross with the shotclock winding down. Santos sealed the deal with a slam dunk.

Fajardo and Santos each chipped in 21 points, while Ross, who was named Finals MVP, added 12 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists, and six steals for SMB.

Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra with 26 points, 16 rebounds, and one assist.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 91-Fajardo 21, Santos 21, Cabagnot 18, Ross 12, Lassiter 12, Espinas 4, Tubid 3, De Ocampo 0

Ginebra 85-Aguilar 26, Devance 20, Mercado 20, Tenorio 10, Marcelo 4, Thompson 3, Caguioa 2, Ferrer 0

Quarterscores: 27-21, 51-41, 63-61, 91-85

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