TNT Tropang Giga overwhelmed Magnolia, 88-70, to draw first blood in the Game 1 of their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Rookie Mikey Williams displayed an impressive finals debut after finishing with 21 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting, spiked with 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Poy Erram added 14 markers, seven rebounds and three blocks, while Kelly Williams added 10 points, six boards and three assists.
“Our objective coming in is to execute our game plan both offensively and defensively,” TNT head coach Chot Reyes said.
“I thought the most important thing was to match their effort, really come out and play with a lot of effort.”
The Tropang Giga unleashed a strong start when Roger Pogoy hit a triple that built a 15-2 advantage early in the game.
Williams sizzled beyond the arc and fired four long bombs that gave his team a commanding 53-34 lead at the half.
TNT’s clamped a hounding defense to expose the Magnolia’s poor shooting night and even compounded it with 258 turnovers, while picking up 13 steals throughout the game.
Williams continued his outburst from the rainbow territory and gave TNT its biggest lead at 32, 73-41, 4:20 left in the third canto.
Paul Lee and Jackson Corpuz finished with team-high 12 points, while Calvin Abueva provided 11 points and 11 rebounds in a losing effort.
Magnolia’s horrendous 27 percent field goal shooting was its lowest output throughout the conference, and third overall on its entire franchise history.
The Tropang Giga will attempt to go for a 2-0 lead when they face the Hotshots in Game 2 on Friday.
TNT 88 – M.Williams 21, Erram 14, K.Williams 10, Rosario 8, Pogoy 7, Montalbo 7, Mendoza 6, Khobuntin 5, Marcelo 4, Reyes 3, Alejandro 2, Castro 1, Heruela 0, Exciminiano 0, Javier 0
MAGNOLIA 70 – Lee 12, Corpuz 12, Abueva 11, Dela Rosa 7, Sangalang 5, Ahanmisi 5, Barroca 4, Capobres 4, De Leon 4, Jalalon 3, Pascual 2, Brill 1, Reavis 0, Dionisio 0, Melton 0
Quarters: 24-14, 53-34, 74-48, 88-70