Complete Tropang Giga reassert might, rout Beermen for 3-2 lead

Olmin Leyba - Philstar.com
Complete Tropang Giga reassert might, rout Beermen for 3-2 lead

Games Friday (DHVSU Gym, Bacolor)
3 p.m. – TNT vs San Miguel (TNT leads series, 3-2)
6 p.m. – Magnolia vs Meralco (Magnolia leads series, 3-2)

MANILA, Philippines – Back with a full complement, TNT charged at San Miguel Beer like a wrecking ball and hacked out a 110-90 romp to wrest control of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinal duel at 3-2 Wednesday night in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Buoyed by Kelly Williams’ awaited series debut after going under health protocols and Poy Erram’s return after sustaining a fractured cheekbone in Game Four, the Tropang Giga came out strong on both ends to get on the hill in the race-to-four dispute.

It was a mighty rebound for a Tropang Giga crew that lost badly last Sunday, 90-116, to find themselves in a 2-2 tie.

“It’s really hard to beat a loaded San Miguel without our starting center Kelly and losing Poy in the first half.  So our mindset was to forget Game Four and look at Game Four as a brand new game. That it was back to square one,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes, whose troops can close it out Friday.

Williams provided a sturdy inside presence and needed leadership for TNT, which out-rebounded the mighty SMB frontline, 45-42.

The Tropang Giga skipper turned in 12 points with three rebounds to back up Jayson Castro’s 19 markers and eight assists and the 18 of Mikey Williams and RR Pogoy. Erram had 10 markers and six boards.

“Parang best-of-three so sobrang importante sa amin ito at the same time yung motivation namin going into this game ay mataas kasi nung Game 4 sobrang tinambakan kami,” said Castro.

The Tropang Giga asserted themselves early, unleashing five straight triples in a 17-0 blast to seize a 30-9 margin late in the opening canto.

From there, the relentless TNT cagers widened the gap to as many as 28 points at 61-33, and expertly countered every comeback mounted by SMB.

The scores:

TNT 110 – Castro 19, M. Williams 18, Pogoy 18, Rosario 17, K. Williams 12, Erram 10, Reyes 6, Montalbo 5, Exciminiano 3, Marcelo 2, Khobuntin 0, Heruela 0, Alejandro 0,

San Miguel 90 – Fajardo 23, Perez 18, Santos 14, Romeo 12, Tautuaa 10, Lassiter 5, Ross 3, Pessumal 3, Cabagnot 2, Zamar 0, Gamalinda 0, Sena 0.

Quarterscores: 32-17, 61-35, 81-61, 110-90.

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