Kib Montalbo unloaded a career-high 22 points and five rebounds for the Talk N Text Tropang Giga on Wednesday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Montalbo’s performance yielded for the Talk N Tropang Giga a 102-92 stopping of the NorthPort Batang Pier in the 2021 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
The win allowed the Tropang Giga to bag the no. 1 seeding in the playoffs, plus the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals as well.
The former La Salle Green Archer waxed hot in the second half where the Tropang Giga began fighting their way out of a 49-all deadlock and into their ninth win in 10 games.
The good game of Montalbo came at time when the Batang Pier still played a great game despite the absence of good players like Greg Slaughter and Sean Anthony.
A triple from Montalbo with 6:16 left in third handed the Tropang Gilas a seven-point spread, 60-53.
“He has been putting the work in practice and it’s showing on the court,” said Tropang Giga coach Chot Reyes.
Mikey Williams showed the way for the Tropang Giga with 29 points. He was at his most potent form when he fired 11 points in the fourth, with his trey in the last 2:19 giving his team a 12-point edge.
Troy Rosario also shot 18 points for Tropang Giga.
Batang Pier, with their 4-4, got 20 points from Paulo Taha.
“I thought we caught a break today because NorthPort was playing very, very good basketball, but the fact that Greg and even Sean Anthony were out tonight, I thought it was big for us,” added Reyes.
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