2013 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals Roundup: October 23-25, 2013

The last two games of the 2013 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals were beauties to watch. In Game 6, Elijah Millsap carried the Petron Blaze Boosters to a huge W, forcing a Game 7 in the process. In THAT Game 7, however, Millsap had little help outside of June Mar Fajardo. Game 7 was owned by the San Mig Coffee Mixers, with Marc Pingris and Marqus Blakely playing splendidly to redeem themselves and clinch the 2013 Govs’ Cup crown.

The Mixers clinched the title that eluded them last year.
(image from Titan22.com)

In Game 6, Petron Blaze beat San Mig Coffee, 99-88, with Millsap stepping up big time. Anytime a guy scores 30 in a game, he should be labeled awesome. Anytime a guy scores 10 of those 30 points in the fourth quarter and his team wins, he should be called clutch. Anytime a guy is both awesome and clutch to force Game 7? Wow, I don't even think anybody has invented a word for that yet. I like Elijah Millsap, and I think we'll all like him even more if he can become awesome and clutch again in Game 7.

San Mig’s Mark Barroca was yikes in this game. 0 points and 4 turnovers? Umm… I guess the real baby-faced Barroca took a vacay (much deserved, please note) all in preparation for a titanic tussle with Millsap in Game 7. I mean, 29 minutes of nothing much? I sure hope he's ready to produce a double-double tonight.

June Mar continued to play like a Finals MVP in this one. At this point, the 2012 top draft pick was norming nearly 19 points and 15 rebounds in the Finals, registering double-doubles in 4 of the 6 games, and he missed the other 2 by a combined 3 rebounds only. He is shooting about 65% from the field, and he is carrying a superb 44.5 efficiency rating. There is just no local who has played better in the 2013 Govs' Cup Finals. The only caveats? His FT shooting still sucks (53%), and his team still needs one more win to clinch the title.

In Game 7, San Mig Coffee overcame Petron Blaze, 87-77, with Fahardo’s National Team teammate, Marc Pingris, hogging the limelight. Ping capped off a beautiful run in 2013 (he did play a vital role in Gilas Pilipinas's securing a berth in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain) with a title in the Govs' Cup and the Finals MVP plum. In Game 7, Ping dropped 19 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 blocks, shooting 50% from the floor and 7/8 from the line. He was just unstoppable in this one, and, once again, reminded everyone why he is maybe the best pure power forward in the PBA.

After a rousing Game 6 win, it would be reasonable to expect Petron to come out guns blazing, right? Wrong. The Boosters were anemic from practically everywhere in this game, shooting 38% from the field and, worse, just 50% from the line. The chief culprits? Well, how about everyone. No startet shot better than 41% outside of June Mar Fajardo, and Fajardo himself fared badly from the stripe, making just 4 of his 12 free throws. The Boosters basically shot themselves in the foot in Game 7.

San Mig import Marqus Blakely still remembers the sting of losing a Game 7 in the Govs' Cup Finals. It happened last year against the Rain or Shine Elasto-Painters. This was definitely one of the primary motivating factors he had going into this series, and this win finally gave him that feeling of redemption he has sought since that titular loss. When the smoke cleared, Blakely had produced 19 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists, and 1 block, playing in all but 2 minutes of Game 7. When asked about how he felt afterwards, the Best Import of the Conference could only say, "It's incredibly humbling."

Game Recaps:
Elijah Millsap carried the Petron Blaze Boosters in the fourth quarter to give his team a 99-88 victory over the San Mig Coffee Mixers in Game Six of the PLDT Telpad Governors’ Cup finals on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win forced a winner-take-all Game Seven on Friday also at the Big Dome.

“We’re just happy for the opportunity presented to us,” said Petron coach Gee Abanilla.

The Boosters were on their heels in the final period, after the Mixers rallied back from a 74-63 deficit to open the quarter to take the lead.

Millsap scored 13 of Petron’s 25 points in the fourth quarter before finishing with a game-high 30 points.

Abanilla hailed Millsap’s performance, calling him the leader of the team.

“In crunchtime, he proved that,” said Abanilla. “He kept the team together.”

Unlike in their previous two losses, Petron drew better balance from the rest of the squad. June Mar Fajardo continued to dominate the paint with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Arwind Santos rebounded from a poor Game Five with 12 points, six rebounds, and six assists.

Alex Cabagnot added 12 points and six assists while Chris Lutz added 11 for the Boosters, who finished the game on a 13-2 run to finish the match.

It was Millsap, however, who kept his team’s head above water, at one point scoring nine straight points in the fourth as San Mig Coffee went on a run.

Marqus Blakely led San Mig Coffee with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he scored just two points in the final period. Peter June Simon carried the fight for the Mixers in the final quarter, when he scored 11 of his 14 points.

James Yap and Joe Devance added 17 apiece for San Mig Coffee, which will figure in a Game Seven in the Governors’ Cup for the second straight year after losing to Rain or Shine last year.

But Mark Barroca of Games Four and Five for the Mixers, was missing in action after going scoreless in 29 minutes.

Now, the 2013 season of the PBA is down to an ultimate match.

“It’s anybody’s ballgame,” said Abanilla.

PET 99 – Millsap 30, Fajardo 21, Santos 12, Cabagnot 12, Lutz 11, Lassiter 7, Tubid 6, Kramer 0, Hubalde 0, Ildefonso 0.
SMC 88 – Blakely 21, Devance 17, Yap 17, Simon 14, Pingris 13, Reavis 4, Mallari 2, Gaco 0, Barroca 0, De Ocampo 0.
QS: 28-19, 52-39, 74-63, 99-88

PJ Simon tried and failed to rally SMC in Game 6.

Elijah Millsap just took over in the fourth quarter.

Arwind Santos continues to struggle despite
being named the season's MVP.

The San Mig Coffee Mixers are finally the champions of the Governors’ Cup.

After losing in the title round last year, the Mixers outlasted the Petron Blaze Boosters, 87-77, in Game Seven of the PLDT Telpad finals on Friday before 21,319 fans at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum to take the crown.

Marc Pingris finished with 19 points, 17 rebounds, and five blocks while anchoring the San Mig Coffee defense that ground the high-octane offense of Petron.

“Kayo po ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa akin,” he told fans after winning the title.

Pingris set the tone for San Mig Coffee, opening the game with six straight points over 6-foot-10 Petron center June Mar Fajardo. He also took on the challenge of defending Boosters import Elijah Millsap, who finished with a series-low 25 points.

But Pingris was far from the only hero for the Mixers. Best Import Marqus Blakely had 19 points, 13 rebounds, and four steals in yet another all-around performance for the Mixers. Peter June Simon added 16 points, while Joe Devance (11), Mark Barroca (10), and James Yap (8) had key hits as well.

The title was the 15th for San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone, tying the record of legendary coach Baby Dalupan at the top of the PBA’s all-time list.

“I’m very humbled at the moment,” said Cone. “Our boys worked so hard for it.”

June Mar Fajardo continued his dominant run through the series with 20 points and 15 rebounds, but struggled under the pressure of his first Game Seven appearance, shooting just 4-of-12 from the free throw line.

The rest of the Boosters struggled, as the team shot just 38 percent from the field.

The title capped a roller coaster tournament for the Mixers, who began the conference with a lowly 1-3 record.

“We felt early adversity would help us later on,” said Cone.

It was the 10th PBA title in Purefoods franchise history. It was also the team’s second championship win under coach Tim Cone.

SMC 87 – Blakely 19, Pingris 19, Simon 16, Devance 11, Barroca 10, Yap 8, Mallari 2, De Ocampo 2.
PET 77 – Millsap 25, Fajardo 20, Lassiter 11, Cabagnot 8, Santos 7, Lutz 4, Kramer 2, Deutchman 0, Tubid 0.
QS: 19-19, 41-39, 65-61, 87-77

Marc Pingris pounds his chest as the Mixers closed in on the title.

June Mar Fajardo's great performance in the series
makes him an MVP favorite next season.

Marqus Blakely jams one home!
The Mixers are the biggest winners of the 2013 Govs' Cup.

Tim Cone gets his fifteenth title, tying him with
his coaching idol, Baby Dalupan.

Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Rey Joble)

Images: Unless otherwise specified, images are from InterAKTV. (Photo credit to Paul Ryan Tan and Pranz Kaeno Billones)

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