|Troy Rosario fought through Magnolia's tough stand to lead TNT to a season-opening win. PBA Images|
QUEZON CITY—Even without Mikey Williams, TNT still showed why they are the defending PBA Philippine Cup champions.
The Tropang Giga began their quest for back-to-back All-Filipino titles after tripping Magnolia in an opening night rematch of last year's finals, 78-72, on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
TNT pulled away late in the game to repeat its dominance over Magnolia, whom they beat in five games in the 2021 championship series in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Tropang Giga turned on the jets in crunch time and unleashed a 10-3 run within the last 2:26 of the game to upend the Hotshots.
Troy Rosario tallied 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal for TNT, which has yet to agree on a new contract with Williams, the newly-crowned Rookie of the Year.
Jayson Castro added 16 points, two rebounds, and six assists.
Ian Sangalang chipped in 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Jio Jalalon and Calvin Abueva each added 12 markers with the latter also tallying a double-double with 12 boards for Magnolia.
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