Tropang Giga, Beermen draw first blood as PBA Philippine Cup best-of-7 semis series gets underway

Tropang Giga, Beermen draw first blood as PBA Philippine Cup best-of-7 semis series gets underway

By Tracy Cabrera

TNT Tropang Giga defeated Magnolia in their best-of-seven semifinals opener Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (Photo courtesy: ESPN)

MANILA — Defending All-Filipino champion Talk ‘n’ Text (TNT) banked on a solid first-half attack from Mikey Williams as it drew first blood, shocking the Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots, 108-96, in Game 1 of their best-of-seven semifinals series in the 2022 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA)’s Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.

Tropang Giga’s Williams sizzled for 26 points as they dictated the tempo from to start en route to waylaying a seemingly weary Hotshots squad that was three days removed after winning a hard-fought quarterfinal series against the North Luzon Express (NLEX) Road Warriors.

The TNT forward was ably supported by teammates RR Pogoy, and Glenn Khobuntin who took turns in steering the Tropang Giga as they went 1-0 in the finals rematch against last edition’s runner-up Magnolia.

Pogoy registered 23 markers, five dimes, and three boards. Khobuntin sparked off the bench with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Despite the easy win, TNT coach Chot Reyes downplayed the decisive outcome as he expects a big Hotshot response in Game 2 slated tomorrow, August 5, at the same venue.

“It’s a very good team so we’re pretty sure they will gonna come up with something different the next time and it’s up for us to be ready for it,” Reyes enthused after his wards’ strong performance.

Following Tropang Giga’s triumph over Magnolia, a well-rested San Miguel Beer (SMB) squad shot down Meralco’s high hopes for a squeaker as the Beermen’s shoot guard CJ Perez and power forward Rodney Brondial took charge to outscore the Bolts, 121-97, in the other best-of-seven semifinal pairing.

Fresh from a landmark playoff win over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, SMB shocked Meralco into reality as it coasted to a 24-point rout that gave them a 1-0 advantage over its semifinal rival.

Perez bagged 10 points in a sterling 33-17 start and knocked key buckets down the stretch that kept Meralco at bay.

But the Bolts trimmed their deficit to 14 points off a Chris Banchero three-point play, 88-102, to which Perez answered with five straight points with a layup and a triple en route to the Beermen’s 24-point win.

The scores:
TNT 108 — Williams M. 26, Pogoy 23, Khobuntin 18, Castro 12, Montalbo 8, Erram 6, Williams K. 4, Marcelo 4, Tungcab 3, Rosario 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Alejandro 0, Cruz 0.

Magnolia 96 — Sangalang 14, Abueva 18, Jalalon 14, Dionisio 14, Laput 12, Lee 9, Barroca 7, Dela Rosa 5, Wong 2, Reavis 1, Zaldivar 0, Corpuz 0.

Quarters: 28-19, 54-37, 86-66, 108-96.

San Miguel 121 — Perez 25, Brondial 20, Manuel 16, Fajardo 11, Lassiter 10, Cruz 9, Tautuaa 8, Enciso 8, Herndon 7, Pessumal 5, Ross 2.

Meralco 97 — Ranchero 17, Almazan 16, Kose 12, Hodge 11, Newsome 9, Quinto 9, Pascual 9, Black 8, Caram 4, Maliksi 2, Belo 0, Pasaol 0, Baclao 0.

Quarters: 33-17, 60-41, 85-64, 121-97

(ai/mtvn)

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