Rookie Mikey Williams displayed his scoring prowess to lead TNT to a 95-92 escape over a gritty Rain or Shine side Sunday evening to cap the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup action this year at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Williams dropped a conference-high 25 points he spiked with six assists and five rebounds as the Tropang Giga bucked a slow start and survived a late rally by the Elasto Painters to even their win-loss record to 2-2.
Returning import Aaron Fuller, who replaced McKenzie Moore, made his TNT debut with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Moore had a rough couple of games as he struggled with a nagging knee injury.
RR Pogoy finished with 18 markers, four rebounds and two steals while JP Erram posted 15 points and nine rebounds for the Tropang Giga.
The Elasto Painters gave TNT a scare with under two minutes left but their fightback came a little too late with workhorse import Henry Walker’s 32-point explosion came into naught.
Rain or Shine absorbed its third defeat in five games.
In the first game, San Miguel Beer defeated Terrafirma 100-88 for its third straight win behind import Brandon Brown and Terrence Romeo.
Brown poured 12 of his 23 points in the third quarter, plucked 10 rebounds and had five assists, while Romeo finished with 23 markers, four boards and three assists for the Beermen.
CJ Perez added 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Vic Manuel and June Mar Fajardo combined for 25 points.
“I have to commend my players because of their sacrifices. Despite the holidays, they were present in the practices because they know the importance of our next games,” San Miguel head coach Leo Austria said.
“Slowly you can see that (our import) is getting the chemistry. We needed some time to get that chemistry, and it showed in our last three games.”
The Beermen opened a 16-point separation in the third canto and even built an 85-62 lead in the fourth quarter off a basket by Perez with 8:14 left to play.
Terrafirma refused to surrender as gunners Juami Tiongson and Aldrech Ramos sparked a rally and put the Dyip within six with back-to-back triples.
Romeo and Perez doused cold water on Terrafirma’s fiery comeback attempt with dagger baskets to secure the win.
Tiongson had 21 points for Terrafirma.
TNT (95) – M. Williams 25, Pogoy 18, Erram 15, Fuller 13, Reyes 11, Castro 11, K. Williams 2, Heruela 0, Exciminiano 0, Khobuntin 0, Alejandro 0, Marcelo 0, Banal 0
RAIN OR SHINE (92)– Walker 32, Mocon 13, Ponferada 12, Belga 11, Nambatac 9, Norwood 6, Asistio 5, Santillan 3, Caracut 1, Torres 0, Borboran 0, Wong 0, Jackson 0
QUARTERS: 21-27, 44-47, 77-65, 95-92
SAN MIGUEL (100) – Romeo 23, Brown 23, Manuel 14, Perez 17, Fajardo 11, Lassiter 8, Tautuaa 2, Enciso 2, Pessumal 0, Zamar 0
TERRAFIRMA (88) – Tiongson 21, Hester 19, Calvo 9, Daquioag 8, Cahilig 7, Ramos 7, Gabayni 4, Camson 4, Pascual 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 3, Batiller 2, Ramos 2,
QUARTERS: 27-18, 48-37, 77-58, 100-88