TNT nears PBA crown after rout of Magnolia in Game 4
MANILA, Philippines—TNT put one hand on the trophy after a commanding 106-89 Game 4 win over Magnolia for a 3-1 series lead in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals Wednesday at DHSVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
After a close first quarter, the Tropang Giga got hot in the second, doubling the Hotshots’ offensive production, 33-15, to take a 57-39 lead and pulling away for good.
While Game 4 itself wasn’t as dramatic compared to Game 3, TNT had a bit of motivation as forward Troy Rosario was able to start despite his horrific fall in the previous match that caused a spinal shock and a loss of 70 percent sensation on his left leg.
TNT head coach Chot Reyes said Rosario, who was still doubtful on Tuesday, shouldn’t have played in Game 4 but the 6-foot-7 forward displayed the willingness to fight through the injury.
“He really shouldn’t be playing, the only reason why we played him was really for inspirational purposes,” said Reyes. “I thought him being there, the message of courage was going to rub off on his teammates. Great heart shown by Troy and I think everyone followed.”
Rookie Mikey Williams, who finished second in the PBA-Davco Best Player of the Conference voting, led the Tropang Giga with 26 points and seven assists while Jayson Castro added 12 points.
Rosario, for his part, had five points and three boards for TNT.
BPC Calvin Abueva had a game-high 28 points, six rebounds, and two steals to lead the Hotshots.
TNT can claim its first Philippine Cup in eight years on Game 5 on Friday.