Jul 01, 2022

Mikey Williams scatters 31 points as TnT manhandles Terrafirma to barge into quarterfinals

MIKEY Williams scored a conference-high 31 points in leading TNT past hapless Terrafirma Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Williams scattered 17 of his output in the second half and got plenty of help as the Tropang Giga easily shrugged off any threat the Dyip could come up with in roaring through to their fifth straight win and seventh in nine games overall.

Winning coach Chot Reyes now hopes the momentum his team gained would serve it well going to its upcoming games against San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra.

"We actually talked about it coming to this week," he said.

"We said this is a big week for us because as you know our last two games are against San Miguel and Ginebra so we said let's take care of business. We really approached this with a lot of intention and focus, this week. Very happy the players responded, especially those who are not our regular starters."

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Poy Erram typified that best by coming off the bench to tally 18 points and nine rebounds as chief support to Williams, who also had seven rebounds and five assists while going 6-of-13 from deep.

Jayjay Alejandro and fellow reliever Jaydee Tungcab also delivered what was asked of them by combining for 21 points in backstopping their starters' efforts, including Roger Pogoy's 15 markers.

The loss kept Terrafirma winless through six games and came on the heels of its 37-point beatdown from Blackwater last Saturday.

Joshua Munzon scored 25 points but only rookie Javi Gomez de Liano was the lone other Dyip in double figures with 12 as the likes of Juami Tiongson, Aldrech Ramos and Joseph Gabayni were stymied.

Terrafirma did give TNT a slight scare, riding Munzon's 11-point second quarter to fight back from an early 17-point deficit and come within 48-49 at halftime.

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The Dyip were even able to grab the upper hand at 51-50, but that hold on the lead proved to be brief as the Tropa intensified their defense while showing a more balanced attack to retake the lead and stretch it to a high of 110-77.

"We were very business-like at halftime because we knew that this is a tough team. We have no pretensions, we have no illusions about this being an easy game. So we knew that (if) they were going to come back it would be a difficult game," related Reyes.

"So at halftime we just talked about some adjustments we needed to make defensively because we gave up 34 points in the second quarter. So when the third quarter ended and we were again up by 17 we just reminded the
players, everyone, that 'Here we are again... let's make sure we play with a lot more defensive intensity starting the fourth quarter to make sure that what happened in the second quarter doesn't recur.'" (NC)

The Scores:

TNT 114 - M.Williams 31, Erram 18, Pogoy 15, Alejandro 11, Tungcab 10, Castro 8, Heruela 6, K.Williams 6, Marcelo 6, Cruz 3, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Banal 0, Khobuntin 0.

Terrafirma 86 - Munzon 25, Gomez de Liano 12, Tiongson 9, Calvo 9, Gabayni 8, Ramos 6, Mina 6, Camson 6, Cahilig 5, Tumalip 0, Balagasay .

Quarters: 31-14, 49-48, 84-67, 114-86.