TNT shone on both ends of the court in the quarters that mattered most to handily beat Magnolia, 102-84, Wednesday and take an imposing 3-1 lead in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Poy Erram continued to dish out a sterling performance with 19 points and 13 rebounds in leading a balanced attack by the Tropang Giga that saw Roger Pogoy notching 18 points, Troy Rosario chipping in 15 and eight and Mikey Williams also finishing with 15 points despite going scoreless in the first half.
It was TNT’s defense that paved the way for its follow-up to a 93-92 squeaker in Game 3 last Sunday, however, with Magnolia being held to just 16 points but only on a 5-for-21 field shooting.
As a result, the Tropa managed to fully break away from a 42-38 halftime lead by posting a 70-54 lead at the end of the third period before widening the gap to an insurmountable 95-72, only 4:49 left in the game.
TNT now has two chances to close out the best-of-seven series and book a return trip to the finals with another victory on Friday also at the Big Dome, although coach Chot Reyes prefers a wary approach.
“That’s the most difficult win in a series, the fourth,” he pointed out.
“We just have to make sure to remind them (Tropa) of it but more importantly, put them in a position to come and play their best in the next game. That’s going to be determined by our rest and recovery and preparation tomorrow in practice. We just have to be extra ready for it.”