Record crowd of 22,902 witness Kings’ coronation; Menk & Tubid Finals MVP
THIRD QUARTER - 72-63 Post up play
Brgy. Ginebra's post up play for Erick Menk prevailed. A six straight points by Menk gives the Brgy. Ginebra its humongous lead to 13 points. The whole Brgy. Ginebra crowd shouting MVP, MVP.
Chris Alexander suffer a crumps after Junty Valenzuela's knee injury. They both rested in the last 3 minutes of quarter number three.
FOURTH QUARTER - Heart thrilling quarter
This is the quarter were Air21 express made a 9-0 run after exchanging baskets with Brgy. Ginebra 8 mins. to go until they taste a 1 point lead with the basket of Thomas. On the other hand Chris Alexander got an offensive rebound and made a shot to get back Ginebra's lead to 1 point. Chris Alexander was in foul trouble after trying to block Thomas shot, But Brgy. Ginebra didn't worry about the foul troubled import.
AIR21 Express came into an early penalty and Ginebra did capitalize on this situation by shooting its free throws.
Mukhang na challenge si Erik Menk sa sinabi ko sa kanya na "Galingan nya sa last game nila". Nung Tuesday kasi nasa megamall ako. Nakasabay ko siya.
MORAL LESSON -If there's a will there's a way-
The will to survive and live another day.
Despite their injuries (MARK CAGUIAO, JAYJAY HELTERBRAND, PAUL ARTADI, JUNTY VALENZUELA, RONALD TUBID) some of the players played even if they are hurt. The Brgy. Ginebra crowd and the will to win the championship keeps Brgy. Ginebra alive to win the 2008 PBA Philippine Smart tourney.
After 5 years of covering PBA, ABC SPORTS had their last coverage last night. I think Channel 23 will cover the next PBA season.
------Below is the article from PBA.ph
Rising above tough challenge and extreme adversities, the Barangay Ginebra Kings are back on the throne, once again reigning supreme in the import-reinforced PBA tourney.
Ginebra completed an epic triumph while handicapped by injuries, waylaying Air21, 97-84, Wednesday night to bag the 2007-08 Smart Fiesta Conference before a delirious record-breaking crowd of 22,902 at the Araneta Coliseum.
The walking wounded of coach Jong Uichico survived an acid test, overcoming a 2-3 deficit in the best-of-seven series to reclaim the crown they won in 2004.
It's Ginebra's eighth championship in all but this one should rank among the best, considering the trials and adversities gone through by coach Jong Uichico and the brave Ginebra gang.
"Every championship means a lot whether it's your first, second, third or what. But this one is really special. It's hard to explain how we won the series with all the injuries and tough challenges we faced," said Uichico, winning a second crown in four conferences with the ball club before a crowd never seen since the glory days of Crispa and Toyota in the league’s early years.
"The players deserve all the credit for not giving up. We could have easily given up when we lost Jayjay (Helterbrand). We could have easily given up when Mark Caguioa got injured. And we could have easily given up when the others also got hurt. But the players didn't," Uichico also said.
With practically everybody already playing with aches and pains, Tubid and Menk seized the moment and led the team to the epic win. The two were rewarded by being named Finals co-MVPs.
"Eric (Menk) has just redeemed himself. Tubid, meanwhile, really showed a big fighting heart as he returned to play in the series straight from injury. Bumalik sya noong kailangang-kailangan namin siya. Bumalik sya ng walang practice," said Uichico.
Menk, defying Father Time, and Tubid, sidelined for six weeks by a dislocated ankle, combined for 43 points and 17 rebounds in the winner-take-all contest.
Chris Alexander, the tournament Best Import, was saddled by early fouls but still played a key role, finishing the contest with 19 rebounds, 16 points, four blocks, one assist and one steal.
"It was a gamble on my part to keep him on the game despite five fouls. What I wanted was for him to make it tougher for Steve Thomas to score. Kung locals, madaling-madali para kay Thomas umiskor," said Uichico.
As it turned out, the Kings held the entire Air21 team scoreless in the last 4:27 of play.
"My players have matured. Still, they were not yet ready to face the impact of what the Ginebra crowd brought to the game," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.
The injury bug hit Ginebra up to the final game of the series with Junthy Valenzuela hurting his left leg in the third quarter.
Valenzuela wasn't able to return but the Kings didn't waver.
Earlier, the Kings pounced on the Express at the posts with Alexander and Menk combining for 18 points as Ginebra took the half at 49-46.
The Ginebra gang could have established full control right in the opening half if not for an atrocious 12-of-23 free-throw shooting against Air21's 4-of-4 perfect clip.
Though badly beaten in rebounding, the Express kept the game close also with a better three-point shooting. Gary David, Arwind Santos, Nino Canaleta, Ranidel De Ocampo and Marvin Cruz combined for six triples with the Kings accounting for only three.
After the Kings built their biggest lead in the first half at 28-21, De Ocampo and Santos fired a three-pointer each in an 11-4 salvo that tied the count at 32-all midway through the second period.
The two teams engaged in a fiery exchange until Valenzuela beat the buzzer with a floater, giving the Kings a three-point lead at the turn.
Tubid was the lone Ginebra player who did well from the charity lane in the first half, knocking in all of his five charities. He provided Ginebra instant offense coming off the bench, leading the team with 12 points in the first 24 minutes of play.
Santos led all scorers with 13 points in the opening half marred by three technical infractions.
Getting possession after the opening tip, Caguioa quickly brought the ball down court and dished off an assist to Paul Artadi for the first basket of the contest. (NC)
Ginebra 97 – Tubid 22, Menk 21, Alexander 16, Caguioa 13, Valenzuela 10, Artadi 8, Crisano 4, Pacana 3, Mamaril 0, Salvacion 0, Reavis 0.
Air21 84 – Thomas 24, Santos 19, David 18, Canaleta 8, Billones 6, De Ocampo 5, Cruz 3, Arboleda 1, Kramer 0, Intal 0, Espinas 0, Sotto 0, Se 0.
Quarterscores: 26-21, 49-46, 72-63, 97-84.