TNT fends off Magnolia for 2-0 lead in PBA Finals
MANILA, Philippines—TNT banked on its early lead and held off Magnolia, 105-93, to take a 2-0 series lead in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals Friday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Rookie Mikey Williams starred for the Tropang Giga in the fourth scoring five points on a 7-0 rally that pushed TNT to a 97-86 lead with 6:17 left in the game.
TNT held a 40-27 lead, built off of 10 three-pointers, at the end of the first quarter but the Hotshots slowly chipped away at the deficit eventually getting to as close as four, 90-86, with 7:41 to play in the fourth.
The Tropang Giga ultimately tallied 17 3-pointers, second highest in PBA Finals history behind San Miguel’s 18, and head coach Chot Reyes said it was the byproduct of his team’s unselfishness and willingness to find the open spots.
“The players made the extra passes and find the open guy. We always say that our offensive ball is our energy,” said Reyes. “So if they’re willing to share it then find the open, and that’s what led to the hot shooting in the first half.”
“We knew it wasn’t going to last but in the ends we’re still going to find the open man and rely on our defense to win the game.”
TNT managed to hold Magnolia to 26% from beyond the arc as the Hotshots made just six of their 23 attempts from deep.
Williams finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, and six assists to lead the Tropang Giga while Jayson Castro added 16 points, four rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
Ian Sangalang had a team-high 25 points with eight rebounds and two steals to lead Magnolia.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.