ANTIPOLO – Mikey Williams came alive as TNT came back from 18 down and frustrated Rain or Shine, 105-100, to continue their winning ways in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Friday night at the Ynares Center here.
The league’s reigning scoring king finished with 24 points on six triples, the last of which he made over Beau Belga with 26.3 seconds left the biggest as it served as the dagger that put their foes out once and for all.
He shot 50-percent from the floor and also collected 10 rebounds, a game-high seven assists, and a steal to help the Tropang Giga gain a share of leadership with other 2-0 teams Converge and Meralco in the standings.
“Mikey bailed us out tonight with that shot,” said head coach Jojo Lastimosa as he decided not to sue for time prior to that shot, putting their fate on the five on the floor instead as he didn’t want to exhaust his remaining timeout.
“I only had one more timeout left because they called a timeout before that. So I don’t wanna waste my timeout. I trusted the guys to make the right decision.”
Williams’ dagger also preserved the efforts of import Jalen Hudson and Roger Pogoy in bringing the team back from a 47-29 second-quarter deficit.
Though he only shot 6-of-17 from the field, Hudson still ended up with 24 points, 13 of which he made in the third quarter alone which saw him join forces with the backcourt tandem of Williams and Pogoy to make it a ball game.
Pogoy fired 14 of his 22 markers while Mikey supplied eight as the trio combined for 35 of the Tropa’s explosive 44 points in the said period alone.
Pogoy and Williams both shot 8-of-16 from the field and went 6-of-10 from deep as they accounted for the majority of TNT’s 18 three-pointers.
“We knew we had to toughen it up ’cause it was really a struggle in the first half to find a rhythm and trying to get in-sync. We finally found it in the second half, towards the fourth quarter,” offered Williams.
TNT will take on NLEX next on Wednesday, February 1, at 5:45 p.m. at the Philsports Arena in Pasig, looking of course to go 3-0.
Michael Qualls, meanwhile, led Rain or Shine with 35 points and 17 rebounds in the heartbreaking defeat that dragged the team down to 0-2.
Rey Nambatac supplied 17 points, Norbert Torres scored 13, while Anton Asistio added 10 for the Elasto Painters, who were without young guns Gian Mamuyac and Leonard Santillan due to ankle issues.
RoS will have almost a week to regroup and recover before battling the FiberXers on Thursday, February 2, 6:45 p.m. also at Philsports.
TNT 105 – Hudson 24, M.Williams 24, Pogoy 22, K.Williams 13, Chua 8, Castro 7, Tungcab 5, Khobuntin 2, Varilla 0, Montalbo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Rain or Shine 100 – Qualls 35, Nambatac 17, Torres 13, Asistio 10, Belga 7, Demusis 4, Caracut 3, Norwood 3, Borboran 2, Ildefonso 2, Ponferrada 2, Yap 2, Nieto 0.
Quarterscores: 17-20, 36-49, 80-84, 105-100
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.