San Miguel carried over its winning tradition to the PBA 3×3 Lakas ng Tatlo as the Beermen took the Second Conference Leg 2 top honors with a 21-15 clincher over Barangay Ginebra Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Hot-shooting Jeff Manday sparked a sizzling 12-2 start that the 3×3 team of the PBA’s winningest franchise used as stepping stone for its maiden leg triumph in the three-a-side hoopfest.
Manday finished with 13 points laced by five two-pointers while veterans Ken Bono and Bacon Austria had three apiece and debutant Mon Rogado added two in the clinching win.
The Boycie Zamar-coached SMB reaped the fruits of major player changes after a not-so-productive campaign in the first conference and struck gold its finals appearance. The Beermen, whose previous best finish was fourth, netted P100,000 as Leg 2 victors.
“Sobrang saya dahil ang tagal naming hinintay ito. Six legs tapos grand finals (in the First Conference) tapos first leg (of the Second Conference),” said Austria, who delivered the championship point with his putback off Bono’s miss.
“We stayed the course lang. We got new players in Ken and Mon, laking tulong talaga nila Nagsipag lang kami sa practices and nagtiwala sa isa’t isa,” he added.
The Gin Kings, whose bid for a breakthrough plum was stymied by the ankle sprain sustained by Jayson David in the semifinals, settled for runner-up honors worth P50,000.
San Miguel 21 – Rogado 7, Manday 6, Bono 5, Austria 3.
Sista 12 – Mocon 6, Jamon 3, Manlangit 2, De Vera 1.