Going for series lead, Magnolia looks to limit TNT spitfire Williams
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero concedes that holding down TNT star Mikey Williams is a gargantuan task.
“Once he starts heating up, it’s tough to stop him,” Victolero said in Filipino.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the Hotshots won’t try as they go for a 2-1 lead against the Tropang Giga on Sunday in Game 3 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series at 4:30 p.m.
Meralco and San Miguel Beer hope to break their own 1-1 tie in the other semifinal affair at 6:30 p.m.
The Hotshots drew level last Friday with a 92-88 win, but not after weathering Williams’ fiery shooting in the second half.
Williams ended up scoring 28 even after Magnolia limited him to three points in the first two quarters.
Williams was 1-of-8 from the field by halftime, before turning on the jets by making all but three of his 11 attempts in the second half.Victolero, though, said Williams won’t be the sole target of Magnolia’s defense.
“We can’t allow Mikey to score 20-plus points and then [RR] Pogoy and [Jayson] Castro would also score 20-plus points,” he said. “We’ll just try to not only limit Mikey, but also limit the other guys.”
The Bolts will have their hands full against the Beermen and June Mar Fajardo.
Fajardo had 22 points and 17 rebounds in Game 2, but Meralco’s defense plus timely offense led by Aaron Black and Chris Newsome resulted in a 99-88 win that evened the series.
“We just have to go out and scrap,” Black said. “I don’t have June Mar Fajardo. We just have to find a way to slow him down.”