TNT came out firing and sustained a rapid-fire start to regain control in its PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals versus San Miguel Beer with a dominant wire-to-wire win Friday.
Poy Erram sizzled with 3-of-3 hits from beyond the arc in a hot start that rubbed off on his teammates as they dominated the Beermen all throughout, two nights after blowing away a big 19-point lead in their sorry loss in Game 2.
The Tropang Giga go for the pivotal 3-1 lead as they return to the DHVSU hardcourt in Bacolor, Pampanga Sunday.
RR Pogoy scored the game's first basket before Erram strung up three straight treys, and there's no stopping the Tropang Giga on the way to regaining the upper hand in the series.
"We just talked about playing 48 minutes because in the first two games, we got beat in the fourth quarter. And everyone responded," said TNT coach Chot Reyes, whose chargers earlier survived an endgame meltdown in Game 1, 89-88.
Pogoy top scored with 26 points, Erram finished with a huge double-double with 21 markers and 13 rebounds while Mikey Williams tossed in 20 points.
All TNT starters ended up in double figures with Troy Rosario chipping in 14 markers on top of seven boards and Kib Montalbo churning 11 points with two rebounds, two dish-offs and one steal.
The TNT starting unit combined for 13 three-pointers in a torrid shooting that they combined with a tough defensive job forcing the Beermen to 24 turnovers.
The Tropang Giga produced 29 markers from those SMB errors.
Pressing hard and attacking ferociously, the Tropang Giga took the half at 54-42 and enjoyed a lead as big as 25, reducing the closing minutes to a duel among the reserves of both teams.
Terrence Romeo, the sparkplug of San Miguel's come-from-behind win in Game 2, once again led the Beermen with 22 points.
June Mar Fajardo collected 14 markers and 10 boards while CJ Perez, Alex Cabagnot and Mo Tautuaa combined for 37 points off the bench. (SB)
TNT 115 - Pogoy 26, Erram 21, M. Williams 20, Rosario 14, Montalbo 11, Castro 9, Khobuntin 4, Heruela 4, Reyes 2, Marcelo 2, Mendoza 2, Exciminiano 0, Alejandro 0, Williams 0, Javier 0.
SMB 98 - Romeo 22, Fajardo 14, Perez 14, Cabagnot 12, Tautuaa 11, Santos 9, Pessumal 5, Ross 3, Lassiter 3, Gamalinda 3, Zamar 2, Gotladera 0, Comboy 0, Sena 0.
Quarters: 29-20, 54-42, 85-68, 115-98.