TNT holds on to beat San Miguel Beer for 1-0 PBA semis lead
MANILA, Philippines—TNT hung on and denied San Miguel, 89-88, in Game 1 of their best-of-seven semifinals series in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Roger Pogoy gave the Tropang Giga an 89-84 lead with 1:34 left hitting on a difficult layup against the defense of Chris Ross and that lead stood until the final buzzer as the Beermen failed in their last play of the game.
San Miguel managed to climb back and get to within one, 89-88, as CJ Perez converted on two late layups.
Marcio Lassiter tried to win the game for the Beermen with 9.6 seconds left but Poy Erram thwarted his layup attempt preserving TNT’s win.
TNT also played with a shorthanded roster with big man Kelly Williams getting placed under the league’s health and safety protocols.
“It was just all effort, I think the key was us believing winning despite the absence of Kelly, you know how big the role Kelly plays here,” said TNT head coach Chot Reyes.
“We said the most important thing is we can win in spite of Kelly’s absence and the guys believed it showed in the way they played tonight.”
Despite the size disadvantage, the Tropang Giga managed to gobble up 15 offensive rebounds leading to 13 second chance points.
TNT also outscored San Miguel 50-42 in points scored in the shaded area and a glaring 23-8 advantage in points scored off turnovers.
Pogoy finished with a game-high 23 points with two steals to lead TNT while Jayson Castro added 16 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
Erram and Troy Rosario also finished in double figures with 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Tropang Giga.
Perez tied Pogoy’s offensive output with 23 points while June Mar Fajardo added 13 points and 11 boards.
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