June Mar Fajardo and San Miguel threw their weight around a seemingly overmatched Barangay Ginebra in Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup finals on Friday. Courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

On a night when San Miguel was running at full throttle, its opponent with the never-say-die reputation never stood a chance.

Chris Ross and June Mar Fajardo scored 17 points each, and San Miguel rode a strong 1st quarter on both ends of the floor to destroy Barangay Ginebra 109-82 in Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup finals at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.

San Miguel was all aggression from the get-go where it raced to a 35-12 lead. The defending champs wouldn't let up on their intensity the rest of the way.

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Import who beat TNT joins KaTropa (February 25, 2017)
Waylon Galvez [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

Denzel Bowles

TNT Ka Tropa is bringing in a former PBA Best Import, one who played for a rival company.

TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio yesterday divulged that Denzel Bowles, who starred for the B-Meg Llamados and captured the Best Import award in 2012, has signed to play for the Ka Tropa in the Commissioner’s Cup.

“It’s a done deal,” said Villavicencio when contacted by Bulletin-Tempo.

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 For Scottie Thompson, rebounding isn't just for the sake of making his stat line look pretty; it's about helping the team win. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines — Few sights inspire more cheers and gasps from Ginebra fans than when Scottie Thompson, all 6-foot-1 of him, soars for a rebound over bigger and taller players.

Thompson has been a relentless rebounder since his collegiate days, when he regularly racked up triple-doubles for Perpetual Help. His athleticism and motor help, and Thompson regularly credits his teammates for boxing out opposing team's big men, but no one can deny that the guard has a nose for the ball.

He carried that uncanny rebounding ability to the PBA, where he became an immediate favorite of the "Barangay."

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 Before hostilities in the PBA Philippine Cup finals begin, San Miguel and Ginebra share a friendly moment in the pre-finals press conference Wednesday. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines — When Ginebra coach Tim Cone was asked what their advantage will be over finals opponent San Miguel Beer — outside of their passionate fan base — the 19-time PBA champion had to take a pause.

Cone could have said a multitude of things — his wealth of experience against San Miguel coach Leo Austria's, the continued excellence of veteran point guard LA Tenorio, the threat that Sol Mercado poses on both ends of the floor, the explosiveness of Japeth Aguilar, the non-stop motor of Scottie Thompson.

He could have pointed to the pair of Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand, whose presence continue to inspire not just the fans but also the Gin Kings themselves.

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Santos on SMB’s title chances: ‘Dapat mas gamay mo na’ (February 24, 2017)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]


Arwind Santos believes that with San Miguel preparing for its third straight Philippine Cup Finals, it should have the distinct edge over Ginebra when it comes to experience playing in this grand stage.

“Dapat mas gamay mo na kung paano manalo ng championship. Na-experience na namin ito eh (We should know better how it is to win a championship. We’ve experienced this before.),” he said.

However, the 2013 PBA Most Valuable Player isn’t counting the Gin Kings out on the eve of their best-of-7 championship series, with him mentioning that the biggest mistake the Beermen can do is to feel complacent.

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Beermen confident they can tune out Ginebra crowd (February 24, 2017)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 A Ginebra fan holds up a sign in support of the Gin Kings in Game 6 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Many a team have been rattled and frustrated, perhaps even scared, by the raucous fans of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.

The thunderous chants of "Hee-ne-bra, Hee-ne-bra" not only pump up the Gin Kings – especially when they are making a rally – it also makes it difficult for the opposing players to communicate, and even think, inside the court.

Some players, however, look at the Ginebra crowd and see a challenge – a chance to shut them up, or perhaps, a chance to win them over to their side.

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Tough semis series against TNT 'sharpened' San Miguel (February 24, 2017)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 The San Miguel Beermen celebrate during Game 7 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals against TNT. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Expected to cruise against TNT in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, San Miguel Beer instead found itself in a see-saw battle, at one point on the brink of elimination from the conference it has dominated in the past two seasons.

The Beermen needed to go the full route against the KaTropa, winning Game 7, 96-83, to advance to a third consecutive Finals appearance in the All-Filipino Cup, and keep alive its bid for the "Perpetual Trophy."

They will face off against sister team Barangay Ginebra in the championship series, with the Gin Kings coming off an emotional semifinal of their own against traditional rivals Star.

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