The San Miguel Beermen stopped the TNT Tropang Giga dead in their tracks, 21-12, in the finals to capture the championship in Leg 5 of the PBA 3×3 Third Conference on Sunday at the Robinsons Place in Antipolo.
Jeff Manday and Ken Bono accounted for half of the Beermen’s output to defeat TNT and stop the latter’s campaign for a third straight leg title. In doing so, the Beermen claimed their first leg title in this conference and bag the cash prize of P100,000.
San Miguel never looked back after Manday scored on a lay-up to break a tight 7-7 contest almost at the halfway mark of the finals. Manday’s basket sparked a 9-2 run as the Beermen pulled away for good at 16-9 with 3:31 to play.
The spunky San Miguel guard, who is coming off a hand injury sustained in the last conference, finished with seven points and a game-high nine rebounds, Bono added six, while Wendell Comboy and Bambam Gamalinda added five and three, respectively.
It was the first leg title for San Miguel, coached by Boyzie Zamar, since topping Leg 6 during the second conference. Only Bono and Manday were part of that championship unit.
San Miguel eliminated Barangay Ginebra in the first round of the knockout stage, 21-15, and then, survived a hard-fighting Cavitex side in the semis, 21-20, to enter the finals.
TNT meanwhile, leaned on the 17-point explosion of Vosotros in the quarterfinals to down Purefoods, 21-17, before making short work of Terrafirma, 21-15, in the semis to arrange the showdown with San Miguel.
TNT’s runner-up finish rewarded the telecommunication franchise with the P50,000 cash prize.
The TNT top gun almost singlehandedly carried the fight for the team, finishing with nine points and five rebounds, while Samboy De Leon was the only other Tropang Giga who scored three points.
Cavitex took third place with a 21-14 beating of Terrafirma for the P30,000 prize money.