PBA: TNT fends off Rain or Shine’s late rally for second win

TNT's Mikey Williams vs Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood. PBA IMAGES

TNT’s Mikey Williams vs Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—TNT survived Rain or Shine’s late-game surge and came away with the 95-92 win Sunday in the 2021-22 PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Giga led by as much as 93-81 in the final 3:22 only for the Elasto Painters to go on an 11-0 run to get to within one, 93-92, after Rey Nambatac’s three-pointer with 45 seconds to play.

Henry Walker tried to give Rain or Shine the win but he missed on his three-point attempt with four seconds left allowing Poy Erram to ice the game from the line.

TNT head coach Chot Reyes said not having enough ball handlers in the final three minutes made them vulnerable and that allowed Rain or Shine to get on that scoring run.

The Tropang Giga turned the ball over three times during the Elasto Painters’ run and it didn’t help that Jayson Castro sat on the bench on a couple of late-game stretches.

“We’re suffering from a point guard deficiency, and we’re feeling the loss of Kib [Montalbo] and when they made that run I experimented playing without a natural point guard,” said Reyes.

Acclimating replacement import Aaron Fuller also proved difficult as McKenzie Moore, who is out with a knee injury, wasn’t in the lineup to serve as an oversized ball handler.

“That was the reason we got McKenzie in the first place because he could play point and we needed a point guard.”

Mikey Williams led TNT with 25 points, five rebounds, and six assists while Roger Pogoy added 18 points and four boards.

Walker had a game-high 32 points with nine rebounds and three steals to lead Rain or Shine.

The Tropang Giga improved to 2-2 to get to eighth in the standings while the Elasto Painters dipped to 2-3.