WILLIAMS POWERS TNT TO DRAW FIRST BLOOD AGAINST MAGNOLIA FOR A 1-0 LEAD IN PBA FINALS
Mikey Williams waxed hot in his PBA finals debut as TNT stunned Magnolia, 88-70, taking Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup finals at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Wednesday, October 20.
TNT Tropang Giga opened the championship rounds with their boundless energy and relentless effort on both ends despite coming off from a grueling seven-game semifinal series against San Miguel.
“This is already our ninth game in the playoffs, and we’ve been in playoff mode since the Ginebra game in the quarters. Today was no different, we wanted our focus, our energy, our preparation to be according to the rhythm we’ve established,” TNT coach Chot Reyes said.
“Our concern now is to be better. We wanted to be better in the finals than in the semis. I thought if we came into the finals and just put the same game we put in the semis, we would be in trouble,” he continued.
The Tropang Giga opened the affair immediately with seven points before stretching the gap to 20-2 in the first seven minutes.
Williams exploded in the second quarter and rallied TNT to a 53-34 cushion and never looked back.
TNT continued to make their presence felt in the third frame, which saw the biggest lead of the match at 32 after a jumper and a triple from Mikey Williams for 73-41.
TNT’s defense was also on point, limiting Magnolia to only register 20 of 73 from the field or 27.39, the third-lowest in team history.
Williams bannered with a game-high 21 points with 5-of-6 treys that went with 10 rebounds, five assists, and two steals against four turnovers in 28 minutes of play.
Poy Erram contributed with 14 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks, while Kelly Williams added 10 points along with six rebounds in his first finals game since coming out of a brief retirement this season.
Paul Lee finished with 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting, while Jackson Corpuz also finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, but came a little too late for the Hotshots.
Ian Sangalang, Magnolia’s most consistent player, saw only action in 10 minutes and scored 5 points and a rebound before coach Chito Victolero opted to sit him for the rest of the second half.
Game 2 is slated on Friday, 6 p.m. at the same venue.
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, Exciminiano 0, Javier 0.
Magnolia 70 – Lee 12, Corpuz 12, Abueva 11, Dela Rosa 7, Sangalang 5, Ahanmisi 5, Barroca 4, De Leon 4, Capobres 4, Jalalon 3, Pascual 2, Brill 1, Melton 0, Reavis 0, Dionisio 0.
Quarters: 24-14, 53-34, 74-48, 80-70.