The Meralco Bolts got back at the San Miguel Beermen to tie their semifinals series 2-2.

/ 11 August 2022

QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila — Talk ‘n’ Text (TNT) Tropang Giga defeated the Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots, 102-84, on Wednesday to take a commanding 3-1 lead or a win shy at moving on to the finals of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup conference.

TNT forward John Paul ‘Poy’ Erram’s outstanding performance in the game led Tropang Giga to the crucial win with a double-double performance of 19 points (6/13 fg), along with 13 rebounds, 1 assist and a block in 25 minutes of play.

Once again, Erram’s teammate and shooting expert Mikey Williams was held in check for the second straight game, but this didn’t deter the defending champions from moving on to the doorstep of another trip to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals as it nears ousting a fighting Magnolia squad like it did in the last season.

Aside from Erram, it was Roger Ray ‘RR’ Pogoy who stepped up his game as Tropang Giga rolled to a victory over the gritty Hotshots Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In the other game, while TNT cruised on the cusp of the championship series, Meralco scored what can be called an upset to foil San Miguel Beer’s bid to make 3-1 in their semifinals series, turning the contest into a virtual best-of-three after a 111-97 demolition of the pretournament favorite Beermen that made it a 2-2 card for the rival teams.

The Meralco Bolts’ big men resurrected from a 2-1 debacle in the semis with the Beermen trying to contain arguably the league’s best player in June Mar Fajardo. It appears that SMB got a dose of amnesia as they forgot Meralco’s big men can also make shots.

The scores:

First Game

Meralco (111 ) – Black 21, Maliksi 19, Hodge 18, Almazan 17, Quinto 11, Newsome 8, Baclao 4, Belo 4, Hugnatan 3, Jose 2, Pascual 2, Banchero 2, Pasaol 0, Caram 0, Johnson 0.

San Miguel (97) — Perez 24, Lassiter 23, Fajardo 21, Manuel 9,Brondial 9, Canete 4, Zamar 3, Cruz 2, Tautuaa 1, Pessumal 1, Ross 0, Enciso 0, Herndon 0.

Quarters: 36-23, 58-53, 88-71, 111-97

Second Game

TNT (102) — Erram 19, Pogoy 18, M Williams 15, Rosario 15, Khobuntin 9, Castro 9 (4ast), Reyes 6, K Williams 4, Cruz 3, Alejandro 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Tungcab 0, Marcelo 0, Banal 0, Montalbo 0.

Magnolia (84) — Sangalang 19, Lee 17, Dionisio 14, Reavis 7, Barroca 5, Dela Rosa 4 (6reb), Corpuz 4, Jalalon 4, Wong 4, Abueva 2, Brill 2, Zaldivar 2, Ahanmisi 0, Laput 0, Escoto 0.

Quarters: 18-15, 42-38, 70-54, 102-84.