TNT Tropang Giga brought down NorthPort Batang Pier,117-112, in a tight and exciting contest in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Reigning PBA “Rookie of the Year” awardee Mikey Williams exploded with 27 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from the three-point area, while Roger Pogoy added 22 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Tropang Giga, whose fourth straight win put them at 6-2 overall.
The win also practically assured the Tropang Giga of a seat in the eight-team quarterfinals.
They can also clinch a top two finish and a twice-to-beat advantage with more victories in their three remaining games against TerraFirma on Friday, San Miguel Beer on July 7 and Barangay Ginebra on July 10.
Jayson Castro added 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and JP Erram had a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds for TNT, which led by as many as 13 points.
Castro, who will celebrate his 36th birthday, was instrumental in thevictory as he scored eight points in the payoff period.
That included a back-breaking triple that stopped NorthPort’s rally from13 points down to only one 110-111.
Jamie Malonzo carried the fight for the Batang Pier with 27 points and eight rebounds, while Roi Sumang had 24 points and 10 assists.
..But the Batang Pier, who blew a 10-point advantage, suffered their fourth straight setback after a hot 2-0 start.
More bad news came when Robert Bolick was hurt and played only nine minutes in the game.
The former MVP candidate, who tweaked his right ankle right in the firzt period,had five points, three assists and two rebounds.
Overshadowed by TNT’s victory was San Miguel Beer, which survived Rain or Shine, 99-93, for its fifth win in six matches.
The Beermen drew balanced scoring from CJ Perez (21 points), Marcio Lassiter (16), Rodney Brondial (16), Jericho Cruz (14),Simon Enciso (12) and June Mar Fajardo (10 points) to roll back the E-Painters.
TNT (117) – M.Williams 27, Pogoy 22, Castro 17, Erram 17, Alejandro 12, Khobuntin 9, Heruela 7, K.Williams 2, Marcelo 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Banal 0, Cruz 0.
NorthPort (112) – Malonzo 27, Sumang 24, Calma 16, Ferrer 14, Balanza 10, Ayaay 7, Santos 6, Bolick 5, Dela Cruz 1, Taha 0.
Quarterscores: 26-30, 55-55, 85-78, 117-112
San Miguel (99) – Perez 21, Lassiter 16, Brondial 16, Cruz 14, Enciso 12, Fajardo 10, Faundo 4, Pessumal 3, Herndon 2, Zamar 1, Canete 0.
Rain or Shine (93) – Ponferrada 20, Nambatac 18, Torres 16, Caracut 11, Nieto 8, Ildefonso 6, Norwood 5, Santillan 5, Demusis 2, Asistio 2, Belga 0.
Quarterscores: 28-22, 49-45, 73-70, 99-93.