PBA: Mikey Williams leads TNT rout of struggling Ginebra
MANILA, Philippines—TNT got its second straight win at the expense of struggling Barangay Ginebra, 88-67, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The league-leading Tropang Giga bumped their record to 8-1 while the defending champion Gin Kings dropped to their second consecutive loss and slid to ninth place at 3-5.
TNT mounted a 12-2 run in the second quarter capped off by Mikey Williams’ free throws for a 32-20 lead as the Tropang Giga took control of the game.
Another blistering TNT surge in the fourth put Ginebra on the wayside with the Tropang Giga outscoring the Gin Kings, 18-4, pushing their advantage to 24, 82-58, after a Kelly Williams’ jumper with 6:16 to go.
TNT head coach Chot Reyes said his first order of business was to set the defensive tone early to prevent the Gin Kings from getting into their usual rhythm.
“We had to contain their twin towers and their twin guards, that’s the difficulty of playing Ginebra,” said Reyes. “You have to worry about Christian (Standhardinger) and Japeth (Aguilar), then LA (Tenorio) and Stan (Pringle) and you have Scottie (Thompson) on the wings.”
Aguilar and Standhardinger did have their fair share of points, 18 and 14, respectively, but Tenorio went scoreless going 0-of-13 from the field while Pringle was limited to just 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting from the field.
Ginebra’s bench couldn’t save the starters either as the reserves combined for a 5-of-15 clip.
Mikey Williams fired a game-high 27 points to pace the Tropang Giga while Troy Rosario and Jayson Castro added 14 points apiece with Roger Pogoy pitching in an all-around effort of 13 points, eight rebounds, and five steals.
If the Gin Kings fail to enter the top eight of the standings at the end of the eliminations, then it would be the first time in 21 years that the defending Philippine Cup champions fail to enter the playoffs.
The last time a defending champion in the All-Filipino conference failed to enter the quarterfinals was in 2000 when Shell finished ninth.
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