TNT on verge of ending six-year title drought after Game 4 romp

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TNT on verge of ending six-year title drought after Game 4 romp
© Provided by SPIN.ph

TNT moved on the cusp of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup title after dominating Magnolia, 106-89, on Wednesday night in Game 4 at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Mikey Williams led the way with 26 points and seven assists on his 30th birthday, but it was his teammates led by Ryan Reyes who delivered the telling blows in a first-half breakaway that led to the 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven finals.

Reyes scored 10 points for TNT, all in the second quarter, as he sparked a 11-0 finishing kick that enabled the Tropang Giga to open an 18-point spread, 57-39, at the break.

TNT was never seriously threatened from there as it led by as many as 25 points in the decisive win that moved the flagship franchise of the MVP group on the verge of ending a six-year title drought in Game Five on Friday, 6 p.m.

TNT on verge of ending six-year title drought after Game 4 romp
© Provided by SPIN.ph Ryan Reyes sparks TNT’s breakaway in the first half of Game Four. Ryan Reyes sparks TNT’s breakaway in the first half of Game Four.

Four playersscored in double figures for TNT with Jayson Castro scoring 12 points, and Dave Marcelo contributing 10 rebounds and five rebounds in the game that saw Troy Rosario, who suffered a dislocated left pinkie in Game 3, start for the Tropang GIGA.

Three players in RR Pogoy, Poy Erram, and Brian Heruela  each had nine points apiece in a balanced scoring attack for TNT.

Mikey finishes the job

Coming off a performance where he scored 39 points including 10 threes, Williams, who lost the Best Player of the Conference plum to Calvin Abueva, hit a three at the 8:44 mark of the third to stake TNT to its biggest lead in the game at 68-43.

Williams ended a late threat by Magnolia, scoring the fourth of his six three-pointers with 2:33 left to give TNT a 100-83 lead. The TNT rookie also converted two more threes to turn the rest of the game into garbage time.

“Our team is constructed in such a way that we have no first group or second group,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes. “We have 15 guys and anyone who is asked to come in to play a role is accountable to deliver.”

Rosario played for 19 minutes and scored five points and three rebounds despite his struggles to even control the ball due to the finger injury.

TNT’s win spoiled Abueva’s effort on a night he received the BPC plum. Abeuva had 28 points, six rebounds, and two steals as Magnolia failed to sustain the momentum after a rousing 106-98 victory in Game 3.

Ian Sangalang had 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul Lee added 15 points for Magnolia, whose biggest lead was at five at 24-19 only for TNT to respond to tie the score at the end of the first quarter.

The closest Magnolia got was 14 points, 97-83, after Mark Barroca scoring 10 of his 13 points in the final quarter.

The scores:

TNT 106 – M. Williams 26, Castro 12, Reyes 10, Marcelo 10, Erram 9, Heruela 9, Pogoy 9, Montalbo 8, K. Williams 6, Rosario 5, Khobuntin 2.

Magnolia 89 – Abueva 28, Sangalang 17, Lee 15, Barroca 13, Dela Rosa 11, Reavis 3, Jalalon 2, Corpuz 0, Melton 0, Ahanmisi 0, De Leon 0, Pascual 0, Dionisio 0.

Quarters: 24-24; 57-39; 82-67; 106-89.

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