PBA: Mikey Williams, TNT trip Magnolia for 1-0 semis lead
MANILA, Philippines–TNT leaned on another first-half onslaught from Mikey Williams to take down Magnolia, 108-96, on Wednesday and gain a headstart in their best-of-seven semifinal series in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Williams sizzled for 26 points as the Tropang Giga led from to start to beat a weary Hotshots side that was three days removed from winning a hard-fought quarterfinal series opposite the NLEX Road Warriors.
RR Pogoy scored 23 points, Glenn Khobuntin had 18 points and seven rebounds while Jayson Castro added 12 for TNT, which led by a high of 24 points.
But TNT coach Chot Reyes downplayed the decisive outcome as he braces for a big Magnolia response in Game 2 slated Friday at the same venue.
“It’s a very good team so we’re pretty should they gonna come up with something different the next time, and it’s up for us to be ready for it,” said Reyes, whose team beat Magnolia in five games to win last season’s Philippine Cup crown.
Five Magnolia players scored in double figures, with Calvin Abueva leading the way with 18 points, but there was plenty to be desired after a contest which saw coach Chito Victolero’s wards go down early.
It was in the second quarter which saw the Tropang Giga pull away, with Williams almost replicating his performance in the quarterfinal elimination of the Converge FiberXers.
Williams dropped 12 in the second and TNT went into the half up 54-37.
TNT 108 — Williams M. 26, Pogoy 23, Khobuntin 18, Castro 12, Montalbo 8, Erram 6, Williams K. 4, Marcelo 4, Tungcab 3, Rosario 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Alejandro 0, Cruz 0.
MAGNOLIA 96 — Sangalang 14, Abueva 18, Jalalon 14, Dionisio 14, Laput 12, Lee 9, Barroca 7, Dela Rosa 5, Wong 2, Reavis 1, Zaldivar 0, Corpuz 0.
Quarters: 28-19, 54-37, 86-66, 108-96.
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.