PBA Championship: Gin Kings finally win a PBA title after 7 long years.
1997 was the last year that the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings won a Philippine Basketball Association championship. Back then, they were backstopped by a prolific three-point shooting import in Chris King, a young and speedy point guard in Bal David, a towering and title-hungry six-foot-nine center in Marlou Aquino and coached by the ageless Robert Jaworski. This year, the cast of characters that made up the team was much different. With only Bal David as the sole surviving member of that championship team, the never-say-die, perennial crowd favorite Ginebra won the Fiesta Cup title against Red Bull Barako in four games of a best of five series in a very convincing fashion: they trounced the determined Barako camp with a devastating 2-3 zone defense and third quarter run built around the fastbreak to come up with a convincing 103-86 victory. Despite a dismal performance from point guard J.J. Helterbrand, shooting guard Mark Caguioa and forward Eric Menk picked up the slack to lead a united effort by the team to its first championship in seven years. The ever familiar chants of “GI-NE-BRA” filled the jampacked Araneta Coliseum, as the celebrations started with over three minutes left in the game, with the Kings holding a commanding 18-point lead. With over eight seconds left, fans and supporters spilled onto the playing court, celebrating the Kings victory which they have long agonized over.