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Tropang Giga take commanding 3 -1 Finals lead after mauling Hotshots

Despite losing in the BPC race, Mikey Williams got the last laugh over Calvin Abueva as TNT is now at the cusp of being champs again. PBA Images
By Carl Santiago

MANILA--Ryan Reyes sparked a TNT scoring outburst in the first half en route to a 106–89 victory over Magnolia to grab a 3-1 series lead in the PBA Philippine Cup finals at Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Bench scoring became a key weapon for the Tropang Giga in this game, as Reyes provided a much-needed spark in a big second-quarter run after a tight opening frame. He finished with 10 points, four steals, and shot 4/6 from the field to bag the best player of the game honors.

Rookie sensation Mikey Williams once again led TNT in scoring with 26 points off 6 threes, as the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned franchise moves a win away to end their six-year drought for a PBA crown.

After a promising first period for Magnolia that saw Calvin Abueva making his mark on both ends of the floor with a 24-all stalemate, it was all TNT for the rest of the match, as Reyes and sophomore Kib Montalbo conspired to escalate the lead to 18 at 57-39 before the break.

Just when Magnolia was threatening to mount a comeback in the final period, Williams responded by draining three straight triples to put on the finishing touches at 106-87.

Fresh from being named the Best Player of the Conference earlier in the night, Abueva put up 28 markers, 6 boards, 2 dimes, and 2 swipes off the bench for Magnolia, which now needs to sweep the next three games to steal the championship from TNT.

TNT will try to capture their first title since winning the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup in Friday’s Game 5.

With a report from Ivan Saldajeno

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