By Adrian Stewart Co
TNT Tropang Giga displayed its full arsenal as they mauled Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings, 88-67, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Rookie Mikey Williams tallied 27 points, including four three-point conversions, while Jayson Castro and Roger Pogoy added 14 markers apiece as Tropang Giga solidified its hold of the top-spot with 8-1 win-loss slate.
This was the first encounter between the two teams since their 2020 PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals in December, 2020 where Barangay Ginebra finished off TNT in five games.
From a slim 20-16 lead after the first quarter, the Tropang Giga leaned on 10 straight points by Castro and conversions by Williams and Jeth Troy Rosario to build a 54-38 upperhand midway in the third quarter.
The Kings, however, rallied back to trim the deficit to 52-59 but the Tropang Giga pulled away in the fourth quarter behind Pogoy and Rosario for its largest lead of 82-58 on a two-pointer by Kelly Williams.
Japeth Aguilar led the defending champions Kings (3-5) with 18 points, Christian Standhardinger added 14, while Earl Scottie Thompson and Stanley Pringle had 13 and 12 markers, respectively.
In the other match, NorthPort Batang Pier (4-3) recorded its third consecutive victory as they defeated NLEX Road Warriors (4-5), 96-94. Robert Bolick Jr. top-scored with 26 points for the Batang Pier.
TNT 88 – M. Williams 27, Castro 14, Pogoy 14, Rosario 13, K. Williams 7, Montalbo 5, Marcelo 4, Erram 2, Exciminiano 2, Reyes 0, Heruela 0, Alejandro 0, Javier 0, Mendoza 0.
GINEBRA 67 – J. Aguilar 18, Standhardinger 14, Thompson 13, Pringle 12, Mariano 6, Ayaay 2, Caperal 2, Tenorio 0, Dillinger 0, Devance 0, Tolentino 0, R. Aguilar 0, Salado 0, Enriquez 0.
Quarterscores: 20-16, 45-32, 62-52, 88-67./ASC, WDJ