TNT dealt Magnolia another damage to take a 2-0 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals Friday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.

/ 23 October 2021

Mike Williams gave another hot performance that prevented a furious Magnolia comeback in the second half, taking the 105-93 win Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup finals.

Williams unleashed 28 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, which highlighted a 5-of-9 from the three-point distance – three coming in the first half and sparked TNT to a run in the final frame that sealed their win. 

Coming into the fourth quarter, the Magnolia showed some life, slowly chipping away at the deficit eventually getting to as close as four, 90-86, with 7:41 to play in the fourth.

But Williams responded by sparking a 7-0 with a three-pointer before converting another trey at the 4:29 mark to make it a 100-89 lead.

Jayson Castro backed up Williams with four straight points in the ensuing possessions as the Tropang Giga moved two wins away from their first title in six years.

The Tropang GIGA hit 17 threes in the game – the second-most in a PBA Finals game in history, according to league statistics chief Fidel Mangonon.

“We always say in our offense, the ball has energy. If they are willing to share it and move, then we just find the open men. That led to the hot shooting in the first half,” said the former Gilas Pilipinas coach.

“But we talked about it at halftime, we knew it’s not going to last. In the end, we need to defend and rely on our defense and that’s what happened,” Reyes added.

Jayson Castro ended with 16 points and grabbed five rebounds while Troy Rosario added 12 points.

 Brian Heruela contributed with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from threes while Poy Erram grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.

Ian Sangalang, who was limited to only five points in 10 minutes of play due to back spasms in Game 1, tallied 25 points but fell short. 

Paul Lee chipped in 12 points in the loss, Calvin Abueva had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Mark Barroca added another 11 points.

Game Three of the best-of-seven affair is on Sunday, with Magnolia hoping to change the tide while TNT looks to a 3-0 lead to move closer from their first championship title in six years.

The scores:

TNT 105 – M. Williams 28, Castro 16, Rosario 12, Heruela 11, Reyes 10, Pogoy 9, Erram 6, Khobuntin 5, Montalbo 5, K. Williams 3, Exciminiano 0.

Magnolia 93 – Sangalang 25, Lee 12, Abueva 11, Barroca 11, Dionisio 9, Ahanmisi 6, Dela Rosa 6, Jalalon 5, Corpuz 4, Reavis 4.

Quarters: 40-27; 66-50; 86-79; 105-93.