TNT takes 3-2 series lead

TNT Tropang Giga finally drew a premium performance from Mikey Williams Wednesday night en route to a 102-93 Game 5 victory over San Miguel and come to within a win from taking the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup trophy at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Despite Jayson Castro’s exit due to injury in the third quarter, the revitalized Tropang Giga maintained their composure in the pivotal game with Williams catching fire with a game-high 23 points built around six connections from three-point range.

Williams, who had been struggling since the series opener, also had five feeds and two rebounds.

Kelly Williams also made his presence felt by firing 21 points, hauling nine boards and two shot blocks.

Poy Erram also bucked a nagging injury and churned out 17 points and seven rebounds, whil Roger Pogoy tossed in 14 markers.

“The word that comes to my mind is courageous, we fought with a lot of courage,” TNT head coach Chot Reyes said.

“Everybody else on the bench stepped up. When one man goes down, there’s no one person who can fill their shoes.”

“Everyone pitched in to compensate for the absence of Jayson,” added Reyes, who is coming of a coaching stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

The Tropang Giga had a major scare early in the second half as Castro suffered an ankle injury after landing on Marcio Lassiter’s foot.

But it was his backcourt tandem partner in Williams who stepped up and spearheaded a back-breaking 14-2 run, to pull away from what was once a 73-all affair.

The Beermen leaned on Moala Tautuaa to slash the deficit to 95-91, but the rest of their gunners failed to score any basket in the last five minutes before Erram’s slam and Kelly Williams’ triple kept San Miguel at arm’s length and never looked back.

June Mar Fajardo finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds, while Jericho Cruz’s 16-point outing went down the drain.


The Scores:

TNT (102) — M.Williams 23, K.Williams 21, Erram 17, Castro 8, Rosario 6, Pogoy 5, Khobuntin 4, Marcelo 4, Montalbo 3, Ganuelas-Rosser 2

SAN MIGUEL (93) –– Fajardo 20, Cruz 16, Tautuaa 12, Perez 10, Manuel 10, Ross 9, Enciso 6, Brondial 6, Lassiter 4

QUARTERS: 24-28, 53-50, 84-75, 102-93

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