PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Valentine’s coronation: San Miguel lifts 29th PBA title after impassioned comeback

Delfin Dioquino

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Valentine’s coronation: San Miguel lifts 29th PBA title after impassioned comeback

RISE. CJ Perez in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

PBA Images

CJ Perez takes over in the fourth quarter as San Miguel finishes off Magnolia in Game 6 to rule the PBA Commissioner's Cup

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel refused to have its heart broken on Valentine’s Day.

The Beermen captured a record-extending 29th championship as they ruled the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after a come-from-behind 104-102 win over Magnolia in Game 6 at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, February 14.

Saving the best for last, CJ Perez finished with a playoff career-high 28 points, taking over in the fourth quarter to help San Miguel overcome a double-digit deficit en route to its second championship in four conferences.

The Hotshots held a 90-79 lead with under eight minutes left before Perez powered a 24-9 run, bookending it with a pair of three-pointers as San Miguel stunned a Magnolia side looking to force a winner-take-all match.

Just like in Game 6 where they fired 16 treys, the Beermen banked on their outside shooting to wrap up the series, with Jericho Cruz, Chris Ross, and Perez each sinking a triple in succession for a 103-99 lead with under a minute left.

Perez dominated in the second half with 24 points as he earned his first Finals MVP plum behind series averages of 18 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 steals, and 2.8 assists.

Import Bennie Boatwright backstopped Perez with a near triple-double of 19 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks, while June Mar Fajardo put up 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 steals for San Miguel.

Back in the finals for the first time in over two years, the Hotshots once again suffered another heartbreaker as they fell short of their first title since the 2018 Governors’ Cup.

The Scores

San Miguel 104 – Perez 28, Boatwright 19, Fajardo 19, Cruz 12, Trollano 10, Ross Tautuaa 4, 9, Enciso 2, Teng 1, Lassiter 0.

Magnolia 102 – Lee 25, Bey 18, Sangalang 16, Jalalon 12, Barroca 11, Dela Rosa 9, Dionisio 7, Abueva 4, Tratter 0, Escoto 0.

Quarters: 22-26, 46-51, 73-82, 104-102.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.