PBA: TNT nears finals return after huge Game 4 win over Magnolia

TNT big man JP Erram. –

TNT big man JP Erram. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Defending champion TNT moved on the verge of securing a return trip to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals after frustrating Magnolia, 102-84, on Wednesday for a commanding 3-1 lead in their semifinal series at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Poy Erram and RR Pogoy took some of the offensive responsibilities from ace scorer Mikey Williams as the Tropang Giga eventually rolled to their most convincing victory in the series.

TNT has three chances to close it out, beginning on Friday at the same venue.

The Tropang Giga prevailed despite Williams being held scoreless in the first half against the tight defensive ploy the Hotshots have put up since the semis started.

But it gave Erram and Pogoy the chançes to step up when needed.

Pogoy scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half which saw TNT leading 42-38 at the half while Erram topscored with 19 on 6-of-13 shooting while also grabbing 13 rebounds.

Williams eventually put up a respectable 15 points after firing 12 during the fourth that witnessed the Tropang Giga hike their margin to 95-72.

Ian Sangalang’s 19 points, Paul Lee’s 17 and Aris Dionisio’s 14 could not help Magnolia fall to a deep hole.

The scores:

TNT 102 — Erram 19, Pogoy 18, Williams M. 15, Rosario 15, Castro 9, Khobuntin 9, Reyes 6, Williams K. 4, Cruz 3, Alejandro 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Banal 0, Marcelo 0, Montalbo 0, Tungcab 0.

MAGNOLIA 84 — Sangalang 19, Lee 17, Dionisio 14, Reavis 7, Barroca 5, Dela Rosa 4, Corpuz 4, Jalalon 4, Wong 4, Zaldivar 2, Abueva 2, Brill 2, Laput 0, Escoto 0, Ahanmisi 0.

Quarters: 18-15, 42-38, 70-54, 102-84.