TNT dominated Magnolia from start to finish en route to a 12-point win, 108-96, in the semifinal round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup, Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Mikey Williams scored 26 points with 18 coming in the first half as the Tropang Giga opened up an early sizeable advantage and kept the Hotshots at bay for the rest of the way to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.
“I commend my team for how we picked up the charge and really took it to ’em in the second half. But we have to sustain for the full 48. I feel like we had too many lapses today, but this was a good Game One,” said Williams during the post-game press conference with the winning coach and best player of the match.
“I think they’re a much-improved team, that’s why I told our team, our players before the ball game, and even before the series, that we cannot expect that this is gonna be the same as the last series,” explained TNT head coach Chot Reyes.
“This is a different team, so for us to be competitive, we have to raise our level as well. We’re not thinking of the past, we’re not thinking of the last series, we’re just thinking of what’s in front of us,” he added.
Roger Pogoy contributed 23 points in 32 minutes while Glenn Khobuntin and Jayson Castro chipped in 18 and 12 markers, respectively.
Calvin Abueva paced the Hotshots with 18 points while Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang and Aris Dionisio added 14 markers apiece with the latter adding a game-high 13 boards to his tally.
James Laput scored 12 while Paul Lee missed all of his 5 attempts from beyond the arc and finished with 9.
The Chito Victolero-mentored squad will go for the equalizer when the two sides clash anew in Game 2 which is scheduled on Friday, August 5, 6:00pm at the same venue.
TNT 108 – M. Williams 26, Pogoy 23, Khobuntin 18, Castro 12, Montalbo 8, Erram 6, K. Williams 4, Marcelo 4, Tungcab 3, Rosario 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Cruz 0, Alejandro 0.
Magnolia 96 – Abueva 18, Jalalon 14, Sangalang 14, Dionisio 14, Laput 12, Lee 9, Barroca 7, Dela Rosa 5, Wong 2, Reavis 1, Corpuz 0, Zaldivar 0.
Quarterscores: 28-19, 54-37, 86-66, 108-96.