That future is now for Pondexter and the Phoenix Mercury, who beat the Detroit Shock, 108-92, on Sunday and wrapped up their first league title in the deciding Game 5 of the championship series. A fast start helped Phoenix become the first team in the WNBA’s 11-year history to claim the title on the road. Pondexter, in her second year in the league, scored 26 points and was chosen as the series MVP. “It’s been a long time coming,” said Pondexter, who didn’t win an NCAA championship while at Rutgers. “It’s something I’ve been waiting for, working hard for, and it’s finally here.” Penny Taylor scored 30 points and Diana Taurasi had 17 for the Mercury. The Shock lost the last two games of the series, ending their bid to win back-to-back titles. Detroit also won the championship in 2003. WNBA: Phoenix rides hot start past Detroit in the decisive fifth game. By Tim Martin THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The tattoo on Cappie Pondexter’s arm was inked when she was still in high school. It features the WNBA logo, and reads “The Future.” “This is an unfamiliar position – being up here without a bottle of champagne,” Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said as he opened his postgame news conference. “We got beat by a team that was hungrier.” Phoenix took some steam out of the home crowd, announced at more than 22,000, by spurting to a 20-9 lead midway through the first quarter. The tight series was an entertaining contrast of styles. Phoenix, the WNBA’s top-scoring team, paid no attention to the shot clock in Coach Paul Westhead’s run-and-gun system. Westhead also won an NBA title as coach of the Lakers in 1980. “My players 27 years ago didn’t worry about spraying me,” Westhead said. “Today, everyone was gunning for me.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!