The Talk N Text Tropang Giga took charge from the get-go and never let up as they posted an 88-70 smothering of the Magnolia Hotshots Wednesday night at the start of their best-of-seven championship series in the 2021 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
Rookie Mikey Williams was unstoppable from the start and up to the time he had to leave the court in the final minutes, hitting 21 points and hauling 10 rebounds to go with five assists and two steals in a masterful all-around Game 1 performance at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Before Williams left for the bench in the final 3:16 of the third on a minor injury, he gave TNT a 32-point, 73-41 advantage on a triple.
The 6’2” William had already played for 28 minutes when he hurt his back following a steal by Hotshots’ Andy Barroca.
With TNT in full control, the coaching staff decided to rest Williams for the remainder of the game.
“Our objective was to execute our game plan, offensively and defensively. And I thought the most important thing was that we matched their effort. Magnolia really comes out with a lot of effort. So we focused on matching their energy and effort,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes.
As the Tropang Giga controlled the boards in the fourth, they went on to cruise to a 18-point lead as the game ended.
JP Erram tallied 14 points and seven rebounds for the Tropang Giga, who will go into Game 2 with momentum in their favor.
The Tropang Giga took the charge from the get-go and never looked back, building on an 18-point lead they gained at the end of the first period.
After forcing the Hotshots to a season high 24 turnovers in the next three quarters, Tropang Giga’s edge soared by as much as 26 points as the fourth quarter got under way, 74-48.
Scoring 20 of 45 attempts from their field goals allowed the Tropang Giga to move away to a comfortable 53-34 halftime spread.
Williams unloaded 14 points in the first half, with his trey with 8:18 in the first period putting the Tropang Giga up by 10, 12-2.
As he went 5 of 6 from the three-point region, Williams put the Tropang Giga ahead by 64-39, with another triple with 6:56 remaining in the third.
The Tropang Giga connected with nine of 22 three-point tries at halftime and managed to maintain a 22-point bubble off two treys from Williams and Glenn Khobuntin, 42-21, at the 5:17 mark.
Paul Lee and Jackson Corpuz had 12 points for the Hotshots, who shot 20 of 73 from the field, while the Tropang Giga converted 35 out of 82 attempts.
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