Oct 22, 2021

Hot-shooting Tropang Giga make it 2-0 vs Hotshots

THE TNT Tropang Giga firmed up control in the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven titular series with a 2-0 lead after a 105-93 drubbing of the Magnolia Hotshots Friday night at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The Tropang Giga zoomed to a 21-point lead on a fiery three-point shooting in the first half and weathered Magnolia's fourth-quarter siege to score a follow-up to their 88-70 romp in the series opener Wednesday.

Best Player of the Conference contender Mikey Williams had a better version of himself after a 21-point showing the last time, pouring in 28 this time as the Tropa accomplished half of the job needed to claim the coveted Emilio "Jun" Bernardino Trophy.

The TNT prized rookie sizzled with a 3-of-4 clip from the arc in their early breakaway and fired bigger bombs later to help quash the Magnolia rally.

Williams and his teammates try to move on the brink of wrapping up the ultimate prize in Game Three Sunday.

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Riding the momentum of big wins from their semifinal faceoff with the San Miguel Beermen, the Tropa came through with another scorching start that gave them a 40-27 spread in the opening period.

TNT was 10-of-15 from the arc just in the first canto, with Ryan Reyes, Jayson Castro and Brian Heruela all firing 2-of-2 in an amazing display of outside shooting.

Castro, Reyes and Heruela all finished with double-figures playing off the bench complementing the wondrous efforts of starters Williams, Troy Rosario and Kelly Williams.

Rosario put in 12 points and six rebounds while Williams was a big help with his defensive muscle though playing with a sore back. Poy Erram was another key factor as frontline sub, piling up 12 boards and six markers.

"It's all about execution, the selflessness and willingness of the players to find the open man," said TNT coach Chot Reyes.

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But the Tropa had their anxious moments as the Hotshots chipped away and threatened within four, 86-90, in a gritty fightback in the second half.

The Hotshots struck hard at the paint with Ian Sangaland leading their charge to finish with 25 points on top of eight rebounds.

Calvin Abueva was a part of the Magnolia chase group but fouled out with still 5:21 left to play. He ended up with 11 points and the same number of rebounds.

Mikey Williams and Heruela teaming up in a seven-zero run reestablished a double-digit spread for TNT at 97-86.

The Tropa coasted through from there. (SB)

The scores:

TNT 105 - M. Williams 28, Castro 16, Rosario 12, Heruela 11, Reyes 10, Pogoy 9, Erram 6, Khobuntin 5, Montalbo 5, K. Williams 3, Exciminiano 0, Alejandro 0, Marcelo 0, Javier 0, Mendoza 0.

Magnolia 93 - Sangalang 25, Lee 12, Abueva 11, Barroca 11, Dionisio 9, Ahanmisi 6, Dela Rosa 6, Jalalon 5, Corpuz 4, Reavis 4, Brill 0, Melton 0, De Leon 0, Capobres 0, Pascual 0.

Quarters:40-27, 66-50, 86-79,105-93.