Mikey Williams felt just as shocked as anyone else when he missed a wide-open lay-up in the final minute of TNT’s thrilling Game Three encounter versus Magnolia in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, Sunday evening.
The reigning scoring champion had the opportunity to add up to the Tropang Giga’s lead and make it a two-possession game when a wild sequence saw the ball end up in his hands following the Hotshots’ failure to secure such.
He gathered then rose for the uncontested bucket. Unfortunately, though, his shot bounced off the rim twice – a kind of blunder hardly seen from the 30-year-old
And that miss proved costly as the opposition managed to tie the game at 90-all following Mark Barroca’s lay-in with 47.7 seconds remaining.
“Oh, I can’t even tell you. I thought it was easy money,” said Williams of that botched attempt.
“In my mind, I said, ‘Easy money.'”
TNT head coach Chot Reyes himself admitted that he ‘almost fell off’ in his seat after witnessing that. However, he understands that it’s part of the game.
“I almost fell off my seat when he missed that layup, that wide-open layup,” he said with a chuckle, “But that’s basketball, right? You miss a wide-open layup like that, but you make a three-point shot under duress.
“So, that’s the sport, that’s why we love this game, ‘di ba? Ganoon talaga,” the six-time Coach of the Year awardee furthered.
Williams, though, won’t surely feel bothered much by that play. The Tropa came out victorious, 93-92, to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven affair.
The G-League veteran scored a series-low 15 points on a 4-of-13 clip from the floor but collected 10 assists – the most he has had this conference.
“It was just the way the game was flowing,” he said of his dimes. “It wasn’t really in my favor. They were a little tighter on me, and they’re sending a double, sometimes three. So, I just had to find the open man as quick as I could.
“They’re a really good defensive team, and they find the loopholes on our offense to really pick and choose who we get to shoot. I’m just glad my teammates hit their shots today,” he added.
Williams felt relieved that his side managed to take home the win, and tipped his hat to TNT senior Jayson Castro as the decorated floor general nailed the desperation three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to save them.
“Jayson is doing what Jayson does,” he said. “He’s been doing that for so long. That’s been his resume.
“It’s a big shot.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.