By JONAS TERRADO
San Miguel Beer went through the wringer before defeating Pioneer, 21-17, Wednesday to capture the sixth and final leg of the PBA 3×3 second conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ken Bono scored 10 points to cap off a stellar performance throughout the knockout stage as the Beermen won a leg for the second time this conference while taking home the top purse of P100,000.
Bono, Jeff Manday, James Mangahas and Louie Vigil became the first team in the short history of the PBA’s halfcourt competition to capture a leg title despite having to play a knockout game for the last quarterfinals berth.
SMB lost its first two games in Pool B to Pioneer and TNT before staying alive at the close of the preliminaries with a 21-14 victory over Terrafirma.
The Beermen beat the Cavitex Braves, 21-17, behind Manday’s 14 points to arrange a match with the Meralco Bolts, who swept Pool A with a 4-0 record.
It was in that quarters match where Bono began his heroics, as his two-pointer completed SMB’s come-from-behind 21-20 win.
In the semis, Bono’s bank shot from the baseline enabled San Miguel to exact revenge on TNT with a similar 21-20 triumph.
Pioneer’s Robin Rono, Gian Abrigo, Carlo Escalambre and Christian Rivera settled for the P50,000 runner-up prize after an unbeaten run through the finals.
The Pro Tibay won all three games in Pool B before defeating Platinum Karaoke, 21-18, in the quarters and the Purefoods TJ Titans, 16-13, in the semis.
Purefoods’ Joseph Eriobu, Pao Javelona, Jed Mendoza and Jun Bonsubre placed third after a 21-20 win over TNT to claim the P30,000 consolation prize.