TNT draws first blood

Photograph by Rio deluvio for the daily tribune @tribunephl_rio mikey Williams fires 26 points to power TNT Tropang Giga to a 108-96 win over Magnolia in Game 1 of their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinal series.

TNT’s Mikey Williams scores against Magnolia’s Adrian Wong during the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals game 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, August 3, 2022. Photo by Rio Deluvio

August 4, 2022

TNT Tropang Giga struck the first blow after hammering a 108-96 win over Magnolia in Game 1 of their Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) best-of-seven semifinals yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Tropang Giga head coach Chot Reyes said their familiarity with the Hotshots’ brand of play was a major factor in pulling off a 1-0 lead in the highly-anticipated rematch of their All-Filipino finale last year.

TNT was simply overwhelming for Magnolia as Mikey Williams fired 26 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the three-point area, while Roger Pogoy delivered 23 markers, five assists and two steals.

Glenn Khobuntin led the support cast with 18 points and seven rebounds and Jayson Castro had 12 markers and five dimes.

“My substitution and rotation were dictated by how the game is flowing, on who is playing well and who are the players on the floor for the other team,” Reyes said.

“I had a pretty good idea of how I want to rotate my players before the ball game, but it has to be versatile in that sense.”

“We are blessed to have players who can play multiple positions. We built our team from versatility and agility.”

Fiery outside shooting served as TNT’s major advantage as Williams nailed 18 early points and four triples to erect a 54-37 advantage at the half.

The Hotshots flexed their muscles to gain inside presence, but their sour shooting sent them to a deeper hole that resulted to a 22-point deficit late third canto.

While a Paul Lee jumper cut the lead to 13, 88-101, Pogoy and Rosario took over and still kept Magnolia within reach, 108-90, 1:08 remaining.

Calvin Abueva finished with team-high 18 points and eight rebounds for the Hotshots, who struggled beyond the arc with 28 only percent.

Meanwhile, several Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco players were fined following some infractions during their quarterfinal series over the weekend.

Kings veteran LA Tenorio was slapped with a P20,000 penalty for the remarks he made against the referees in their 104-106 Game 3 loss late Sunday.

His teammate Prince Caperal was slapped with a P15,000 fine as he committed two flagrant fouls.

Bolts guard Franky Johnson was also not spared and fined with a P20,000 penalty for throwing a ball at Kings big man Christian Standhardinger during their Game 2 warm-up.

The Scores:
TNT (108) — M. Williams 26, Pogoy 23, Khobuntin 18, Castro 12, Montalbo 8, Erram 6, K.Williams 4, Marcelo 4, Tungcab 3, Rosario 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Alejandro 0, Cruz 0.

MAGNOLIA (96) — Sangalang 14, Abueva 18, Jalalon 14, Dionisio 14, Laput 12, Lee 9, Barroca 7, Dela Rosa 5, Wong 2, Reavis 1, Zaldivar 0, Corpuz 0.

QUARTERS: 28-19, 54-37, 86-66, 108-96.

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