PBA Finals: Magnolia overcomes Mikey Williams, TNT to avoid 0-3 hole

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MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia survived the hot shooting of rookie Mikey Williams to clip TNT, 106-98, in Game 3 for its first win in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals Sunday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Paul Lee scored 21 points for the Hotshots look to level the title series on Wednesday in Game 4.

Williams hit a PBA Finals record 10 triples en route to a 39-point outing in a losing effort for the Tropang Giga.

The Hotshots were on wits’ end trying to stop the rookie’s onslaught as they saw their 18-point, 95-77, fourth quarter lead slowly dissipate.

The Tropang Giga went on a methodical 18-3 run to get to within three, 98-95 after Williams’ Finals record 10th 3-pointer with with 1:11 to play.

A friendly bounce for Mark Barroca and timely free throws from Rome Dela Rosa gave Magnolia a 102-95 cushion with 37 seconds left and that proved to be enough to hold off TNT until the final buzzer.

“The most important thing right now is for us to have the right mindset,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero. “We’re here in the finals because of our defense. We just have to go back to the basics.”

“We’ve been here before and we experienced it.”

Game 3, however, didn’t go without incidents as TNT forward Troy Rosario was taken off the floor at the 3:02 mark of the third after he landed on his back following contact with Magnolia’s Jackson Corpuz, who was promptly ejected for the foul.

Ian Sangalang had 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four blocks to add to Magnolia’s cause while Barroca and Calvin Abueva had 16 and 14 points, respectively, off the bench.

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