Oct 20, 2021

TNT clobbers Magnolia in finals opener

TNT took the opener of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals in lopsided fashion, starting with a 20-2 tear and sustaining the momentum en route to an 88-70 blowout of a stunned Magnolia side Wednesday night at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Even with a two-day breather after their semifinal disposal of San Miguel Beer, the Tropang Giga played with much energy and intensity, romping past the Hotshots that came out flat from a four-day respite.

It was practically all over by the third quarter with the pumped-up Tropang Giga stretching their lead to over 30 points.

"This is already our ninth game in the playoffs, and we've been in playoff mode since the Ginebra game in the quarters. Today was no different, we wanted our focus, our energy, our preparation to be according to the rhythm we've established," said TNT coach Chot Reyes.

"Our concern now is to be better. We wanted to be better in the finals than in the semis. I thought if we came into the finals and just put the same game we put in the semis, we would be in trouble," Reyes added.

Sponsored content:
Practically each and every member of the TNT crew responded well, tearing apart the Magnolia with their boundless energy and relentless effort on both ends.

Mikey Williams was the lead crew, erupting for a game-high 21 points with 5-of-6 treys that went with 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals against four turnovers in 28 minutes of play.

"We came in prepared well and determined to execute and get things done. We did it as a team," said Williams, who is in the running for the Best Player of the Conference award against Magnolia's Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang.

It was a wire-to-wire victory, with the Tropang Giga not needing much from RR Pogoy (with only seven points) and Jayson Castro (one).

The downside for TNT was Kelly Williams being carried to the dugout in a stretcher.

Sponsored content:
"He might have strained his back. It doesn't look good for now," said Reyes.

Williams put in his share before his exit, contributing 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.

The Tropang Giga sat on a 53-34 cushion at the half behind a torrid shooting marked by 9-of-22 clip from the arc as against the Hotshots' horrible 0-of-8.

Mikey Williams led the way in their show of offensive might in the first half with 4-of-5 three-pointers. The Fil-Am rookie guard tallied 14 points with Poy Erram adding 10 off the bench.

Not a single Magnolia player scored more than seven in the first 24 minutes of play.

The Hotshots started flat behind the combination of Ian Sangalang, Rafi Reavies, Justin Melton, Mark Barroca and Rome dela Rosa. Somehow, they got some rhythm on the entry of Calvin Abueva, and Magnolia came within 10 before the end of the opening canto.

But they couldn't get into the fight as the Tropang Giga stepped on gas and pulled away again in the second quarter, never to look back

The scores:

TNT 88 - M.Williams 21, Erram 14, K. Williams 10, Rosario 8, Montalbo 7, Pogoy 7, Mendoza 6, Khobuntin 5, Marcelo 4, Reyes 3, Alejandro 2, Castro 1, Exciminiano 0, Heruela 0, Javier 0.

Magnolia 70 - Corpuz 12, Lee 12, Abueva 11, Dela Rosa 7, Ahanmisi 5, Sangalang 5, De Leon 4, Barroca 4, Capobres 4, Jalalon 3, Pascual 2, Brill 1, Melton 0, Reavis 0, Dionisio 0.

Quarters: 24-14, 53-34, 74-48, 88-70.