Alfrancis Chua celebrates the Kings victory in Game 3.

Barangay Ginebra’s latest title conquest in the ABP The club have scaled the league’s hallowed grounds, after the Gin Kings won their 14th overall title last Friday night after battling a host of adversities – from labor issues to balance issues – in a Governors Cup campaign that felt more like a trek than an auction.

It was undoubtedly a glorious triumph. But it was also much more than that, according to team governor Alfrancis Chua.

It was a strong message.

“Everyone was saying we didn’t have a chance,” Chua told the Inquirer amid the din of celebrations inside the packed Mall of Asia Arena. “People said, wrote that [Justin] Brownlee no longer has the legs, that [LA] Tenorio is old. Guess who’s laughing now? LA just finished with 30 points.

Ginebra crushed Meralco, 103-92, ending their perennial six-game punchline to remain the most dominant force in the season-ending conference by winning for the fourth time in the past five, all against the Bolts.

Chua, who is also the athletic director of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and chief architect of the conglomerate’s PBA success, believes the campaign should also warn other opposing PBA teams.

“For several years, for so many conferences, it’s been a San Miguel team that ends up champions,” he said. “TNT surprised us in the Philippine Cup [after beating Magnolia]. But now we are back.

“And for me, that’s the most important thing.”

San Miguel teams have swept the past six seasons in the pioneering professional league, except for the Philippine Cup which the Tropang Giga won in a dazzling fashion.

Even to make Friday’s championship sweeter, Ginebra also mirrored what TNT and Chot Reyes did in their all-Philippine title chase, when the Tropang Giga took down one SMC team after another on their way to the title.

“They (Tropang Giga) crushed us all [at San Miguel]”, said Chua. “It’s a revenge.

“But we went through the eye of the needle on this one,” he continued. “If you look back, our enemies were all at full strength. But we showed heart and we showed how hard Ginebra is fighting.

“We just kept fighting. Really “never say die,” Chua concluded.


Alfrancis Chua on Ginebra’s latest PBA title: ‘It’s a reward’

Ginebra leaves Governors Cup storyline intact, shuts down Meralco to reclaim crown

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