There’s an article in the May 29, 2023, issue of The New York Times citing San Miguel Beer’s comeback from a 0-3 deficit to win the 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Finals over Alaska in relation to the Boston Celtics’ bid to duplicate the feat in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat this season. The article was written by Victor Mather, entitled “The Miami Heat Are on the Brink of Bad History.” It came out the day before Miami averted disaster and bowled over the Celtics, 103-84, in Game 7 of their series to advance to the Last Dance against Denver. Miami had zoomed to a 3-0 lead then Boston regrouped to win three straight before a monumental collapse in the clincher at home.

Mather recalled three NBA duels where a team rallied from 0-3 to tie the series but lost in Game 7. The first was in 1951 when the Rochester Royals (now the Sacramento Kings after relocating from Cincinnati, Kansas City and Omaha) blew a 3-0 lead as New York roared back to win three in a row but recovered to take Game 7. That happened in the Finals. The two other battles were in earlier playoff rounds where in 1994, Utah beat Denver and in 2003, Dallas repulsed Portland.

Here’s Mather on San Miguel’s comeback known in PBA history as the “Beeracle;” “How could you forget the classic Beermen-Aces series? In the 2016 Philippine Cup Final, the Alaska Aces looked set to claim the title after three straight wins. Their name came from their sponsor, Alaska Milk, not their home base. But it was a mistake to count out the reigning champion San Miguel Beermen who won four straight to do what no NBA team has ever done.”

San Miguel’s recovery from ICU was a stunner. In the elims, both San Miguel and Alaska posted 9-2 records with the Aces beating the Beermen, 103-97, in their faceoff. They advanced to the semifinals where San Miguel eliminated Rain Or Shine, 4-2 and Alaska disposed of GlobalPort, 4-1. San Miguel was down, 1-2 then won three in a row to turn back the Elasto Painters. Alaska lost the opener to GlobalPort as Terrence Romeo erupted for 41 points but rebounded to win four in a row. June Mar Fajardo twisted a knee in Game 6 of the Rain Or Shine series and sat out Games 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Finals. Alaska took advantage of the Kraken’s absence to win Game 1, 100-91, Game Two, 83-80 and Game Three, 82-75. In Game 4, San Miguel avoided a sweep via a 110-104 OT win. Fajardo returned to action in Game 5 as the Beermen pulled off another OT decision, 86-73. San Miguel took Game 6, 100-89 and in Game 7, beat Alaska, 96-89 with Fajardo compiling 21 points and 15 rebounds before 23,616 fans at the MOA Arena.

San Miguel’s roster included Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Ronald Tubid, Jay-R Reyes and Gabby Espinas while Alaska’s lineup listed Chris Banchero, Vic Manuel, Calvin Abueva, RJ Jazul, Jvee Casio, Kevin Racal and Rome de la Rosa. Only Ross, Lassiter and Fajardo remain with San Miguel. Alaska’s franchise was later bought by Converge.

2023-06-01T16:44:25Z dg43tfdfdgfd