San Mig Coffee outlasts Rain or Shine to win Grand Slam
MANILA, Philippines — San Mig Coffee survived Rain or Shine in a fitting finale 92-89 to pull off a historic Grand Slam and a fourth straight championship in the 2014 Governors’ Cup before a raucous Smart Araneta Coliseum crowd Wednesday night.
The Mixers became just the fourth franchise in league history to win a Triple Crown sweep after Crispa (twice), San Miguel Beer and Alaska.
San Mig head coach Tim Cone, who clinched his 18th title, also made history by being the first mentor to win two Grand Slams after he steered Alaska in 1996.
“The water hit me but the fourth straight championship and the Grand Slam hasn’t hit me yet. I’m overwhelmed by it,” said Cone, whose shirt and tie soaking wet in water after Marqus Blakely dumped water over him at center court. “This is got to be the hardest Grand Slam to win.”
“It’s been amazing to watch [my players]. Watch a guy like Ping (Pingris) to bring the energy every game. And then the calmness of James Yap, nothing fazes him and that’s why he is able to withstand big moments,” Cone said.
The Mixers led by as much as 16 points in the third quarter but had to ride on two-time MVP James Yap to get them out of harm’s way. Yap saved his best game for last with 29 points, nine coming in the fourth quarter and was named Finals MVP.
The Elasto Painters just wouldn’t go down quietly and up to the last second, they had a chance to at least extend the game for five more minutes with the Mixers hanging onto a three-point lead.
But Rain or Shine missed five potential game-tying 3-pointers with Arizona Reid and Paul Lee missing twice and Jeff Chan misfiring one with San Mig Coffee muffing four free throws in between in the final minute.
Reid, limping, still came away with 23 points, including a quick bucket that moved his team to within three, 89-92, with 1:32 left, and pulled down 14 rebounds while Lee kept the Mixers from pulling away for good with 21 points.
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