PBA: Hot-shooting TNT too much for Magnolia, takes 2-0 lead in PH Cup Finals

PBA: Hot-shooting TNT too much for Magnolia, takes 2-0 lead in PH Cup Finals

Mikey Williams sizzled for the Tropang Giga. PBA Images
By Justine De Jesus

MANILA—TNT withstood a late Magnolia rally behind another brilliant performance from Mikey Williams for a 105-93 win to take a 2-0 lead in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Following up his terrific showing in Wednesday’s Finals opener, Williams torched the Hotshots early on with his scoring outburst before providing much-needed buckets in the crucial minutes, finishing with 28 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.

The Tropang Giga raced to a hot start, scoring 40 points in the first frame behind the offensive display by Williams and Jayson Castro. The lead ballooned to as much as 21, 57-36, after Williams’ three-point play conversion in the first half.

TNT made 17 threes, en route to the record books as the second-most in the PBA Finals history, as per long-time league statistics chief Fidel Mangonon III.

Castro added 16 points in 23 minutes of action while Brian Heruela, who returned to TNT via off-season acquisition, added 11 points with 3 three-pointers off the bench.

Magnolia trimmed the deficit to four in the final quarter, 86-90, but the Tropang Giga responded with seven unanswered points.

Adding up to the Hotshots’ woes, BPC candidate frontrunner Calvin Abueva fouled out with still five minutes in the game as TNT never looked back.

Ian Sangalang’s 25 points and eight boards went for naught as the Hotshots’ supporting crew continued to struggle in the series.

Paul Lee had 12 markers, but he missed all six of his attempts from downtown, while Abueva had a double-double effort of 11 points and 11 rebounds with a game-worst minue-16 plus/minus.

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