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Coca-Cola defeats SMB, gets the crown

No strike three for Coca Cola and head coach Chot Reyes.

The Tigers rode on their fearless attacking game and championship poise to defeat San Miguel Beer delivered a masterful 92-84 clincher on December 14 in their decisive Game 7 for Samsung-PBA Reinforced Conference championship.

Artemus McClary, named the tournament Best Import, gave 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter.

Clinging to a 65-59 edge entering the final canto, the Tigers opened the stage with a decisive 20-11 exchange, the last nine came from the Coke import who capped the run with a three-pointer for the biggest lead of the game, 85-70, 5:45 left in the game.

But the Beermen, who played the last seven minutes of the match without import Kwan Johnson, found a second wind and behind the hustle plays of Dondon Hontiveros and Olsen Racela, they countered with a 12-2 surge to cut the lead to five, 82-87, 1:39 remaining.

Johnny Abarrientos then put a halt to the spirited comeback with a pair of free throws off a foul by Dorian Pena, 89-82. Hontiveros converted a quick drive but Ato Morano sealed the win with more two free throws.

Morano added 14 points while Finals MVP Jeffrey Cariaso had 13, 11 of them in the second half. Rudy Hatfield chipped in 10, all in the first half.

Dorian Pena paced the runners-up with 23 points and 15 rebounds, with 13 coming off the offensive end. Hontiveros had 19 markers, Johnson and Nic Belasco netted 11 apiece while Danny Ildefonso had 10 but had eight of the team's 18 turnovers, five of them coming in the fourth quarter.

The victory gave Reyes his fourth PBA title and the monicker "Mr. December" after he also piloted Coca-Cola to the All-Filipino crown on Christmas Day last year against Alaska.


Posted by melanie at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)  
 


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