A complete and healthy TNT team unleashed its full might on the San Miguel Beermen on Sunday to hammer out a 97-79 win that catapulted the Tropang Giga to the finals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
This time, it was RR Pogoy’s turn to step up, delivering 27 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds for the Tropang Giga in the deciding Game 7 of their semifinal series with the Beermen at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The win also set up an interesting best-of-seven championship showdown between the Manny V. Pangilinan franchise against Ramon S. Ang’s Magnolia Hotshots.
Pogoy got ample scoring support from Michael Williams, who sizzled with 20 points, as the duo led the Tropang Giga to their seventh appearance in the finals since 2003.
Both Pogoy and Williams picked up the pace for the Tropang Giga midway in the third period, with the latter’s triple in the last 1:12 putting TNT ahead by 13, 64-51.
The 6’2” Pogoy then joined hands with Poy Erram in the last period, as they led the Tropang Giga to a comfortable 24-point edge, 95-71.
Troy Rosario tallied 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Tropang Giga.
“Although they (Tropang Giga) played well, there’s still this mountain ahead to climb,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes, referring to the Magnolia Hotshots in the finals.
JuneMar Fajardo topscored with 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Beermen, while Chris Ross and CJ Perez added 11 apiece.
The Hotshots made it first to the title series when they eased out the second seed Meralco Bolts, 93-85, last Friday.
Magnolia won its semifinal matchup with the Bolts at 4-2.
Ian Sangalang had game-highs of 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Hotshots, who are in the Philippine Cup finals for the third time in the last four seasons.