Mar 23, 2023

TNT welcomes back Erram as going gets tough in PBA playoffs

POY Erram's return couldn't have come at a better time for TNT.

The veteran big man was finally activated by the Tropang Giga during the PBA Governors' Cup playoffs, suiting up for the first time this conference in a 132-105 win over Phoenix in their quarterfinals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Erram was out of action for almost two months after undergoing arthoscopic procedure on his hurting knee.

He wasn't even planned to be used by coach Jojo Lastimosa in the Phoenix game, but was advised to do so with the game already in the bag for the Tropang Giga, 124-96, with 5:21 left to play.

"Ako actually ayokong gamitin pa si Poy because dalawang beses lang yata nag-practice si Poy sa amin. So I don't know how good shape he was in," related Lastimosa.

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But upon the prodding of former TNT coach Chot Reyes, Lastimosa eventually relented and sent the 6-foot-8 Erram in the game.

"Sabi niya (Chot), subukan mo na si Poy kasi we might need him down in the playoffs," added Lastimosa.

Erram somehow managed to shake off the cobwebs and finished with six points and three assists as he warmed up for the semifinals where TNT faces Meralco.

Lastimosa was satisfied with what he saw in Erram, who the Tropang Giga will badly need in the best-of-five series with veteran big man Kelly Williams uncertain of returning to the playoffs after suffering a pulled calf late in the first quarter of the game.

"Poy is needed there in that lineup. And I was happy about the outcome," said the TNT mentor. (RG)