Making history isn’t easy! But San Miguel did it!
Victory was made that much sweeter, indeed! A true story of blood, sweat and tears. Tears of happiness on our side of the court!
Watching San Miguel enter the finals against Alaska was a major, major deja vu! Not only did this happen last year during the Filipino Cup 2015, but it also happened most recently a few months ago during the previous conference (Governors Cup 2015). It has been the third time in a year that “we” (my boyfriend plays for San Miguel; so of course all of us wives, girlfriends, significant others, family, etc. feel part of the team, as if it is our “life on the line” during every game!).
So as I was saying, it is the third time in a year that we faced Alaska in the finals. As history showed, we came out victorious, every time in the past. Which makes you wonder how Alaska felt going into the finals against us (San Miguel) again!
They would surely have some “extra fire”, this extra desire to finally beat us this time! Would we be able to defend our title? Would we be able to beat them again? That was the question on everyone’s mind. Thinking about San Miguel winning this again; a 3rd championship out the last 4, that would be amazing! But realistically speaking, it seemed like it would be too good to be true. But the team is so good, filled with so many talented players that it also seemed totally possible.
Unfortunately, that hopeful feeling of mine quickly changed. From the very start of the Finals Best of 7 game series, it was obvious that luck was not on our side. June Mar Fajardo (one of our star players, who happened to be this conference’s Best Player and the reigning back-to-back MVP of the PBA), got injured during the semi-finals game, which qualified us to enter the finals.
So two days later, San Miguel entered the finals with a big disadvantage. Indeed, with an offence and many plays relying strongly on June Mar, the team had never actually played an actual game without his presence. His absence on the court meant that new game plan would have to be drawn the day before entering the finals. With no sufficient time to truly practice.
When game 1 came, it was obvious that despite the void left by June Mar, the team wanted to win. All of the players stepped up. Yancy de Ocampo and Jayr Reyes took on the big role of Fajardo, and all the other players did their part to help. All throughout the game the scores were very close. Unfortunately, in the end we lost.
This is also what happened during the next two games. Each game was tight; but in the end when there was only a few seconds left, a few points made the difference. It was very tight and very frustrating. And we found ourselves down 0-3. One more game and Alaska had the championship.
Our spot was very precarious. The odds were really not in our favor, and history was definitely not in our side. Indeed, no team in PBA history has ever come back from a 0-3 deficit to win a best of 7 championship.
Game 4 was the turning point. The championship balloons made their appearance for the first time this season; indicating the possibility of a champion being declared that night. San Miguel had everything to loose and the pressure was on. Alaska had already made banners and t-shirts with the words “sweep” and “champions” on them. And their fans were already taunting us with their predicted “impending victory”. On our side of the court, we kept faith in our team and their great skills. And our prayers were answered! It was another tight game, but we finally beat Alaska. Talking after that decisive game, we realized that this hardship could have actually been for a greater purpose. To make victory much sweeter. To make history. We kept our “fingers crossed.”
The next game, June Mar came back and our winning streak continued. Our spot was still very uncertain since Alaska just needed one game to win the championship. Definitely good odds for them.
But despite that, we kept the faith and celebrated when we equalized the score with 3-3. That in itself was already a historic achievement. Game 7 would be the last stand to see who really deserved this championship.
And on that day, history was made. Not only did we win another championship; not only was this the 3rd championship that we won out of the last 4. But the San Miguel Beermen became the first team in the history of the PBA to come back from a 0-3 deficit to win the best-of-seven championship.