PBA Finals: Magnolia completes San Miguel 'Grand Slam'

Philip Matel on Dec 20, 2018 05:07 PM
PBA Finals: Magnolia completes San Miguel 'Grand Slam'
It was Magnolia's time to shine. And they were not very shy of expressing their intentions.

ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL -- Call 2018 the year of San Miguel.

Per PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon III, this is the first time that the triumvirate of the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) clinched all three conferences, an unprecedented display of dominance by one corporation in the league.

The Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August.

It was Magnolia's time to shine. And they were not very shy of expressing their intentions.

"Ayaw naman naming masira na sabihing kami hindi nakarating doon. Talagang pinilit naming makuha rin ito. At alam namin kapag umabot ng Game 7, medyo delikado tayo namin sa Alaska," Hotshots team governor Rene Pardo said during the championship celebrations at the Ynares Center here. 

The Hotshots looked like a team on a mission from the tip-off of Game 6, opening up the game with a 12-0 blitz to blow the game wide open.

Alaska tried numerous times to cut the lead down, but the Hotshots were relentless towards the final buzzer, and hoisted the Governors' Cup trophy for the very first time in four years, the last of their Grand Slam conquest.

On why it took so long to win a title once again, leading to discontent and unhappiness from their fanbase, Pardo reminded them that the team had been gutted following Tim Cone's departure for sister team Ginebra a few years back.

"Having a new coach is always different. It’s a challenge so tinyaga namin nun. After Jason [Webb], then Chito [Victolero]. We really adjusted Thank God, nakaisa. Sana meron pang mga kasunod," the official hoped. 

Pardo, a fixture in the Hotshots' bench during the games, praised Victolero for steadying the ship as he led the team to two Finals appearance and a title, and in turn has earned the admiration and respect of his players.

Now that the season has ended, Magnolia is on the hunt to challenge the retooled Beermen, who acquired bona fide scorers Terrence Romeo, Paul Zamar, and Ronald Tubid in three separate trades.

Unlike the moves of their maiden sister team, Pardo assures that they won't be following the steps of San Miguel and much more build on the team that they had constructed over time.

"We’re happy with them. In fact, most of them have been renewed already... May kasabihan nga, why fix it if it’s not broken. Nananalo kami, bakit namin guguluhin?"

 

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