Blowout after blowout.
TNT gave San Miguel a dose of its own medicine after coasting to a 110-90 rout at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Wednesday, October 13, to move one win away from another trip to the PBA Philippine Cup finals.
Beaten by 26 points in Game 4, the Tropang Giga returned the favor behind a balanced attack and several key players returning as they grabbed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven semifinals.
Jayson Castro netted a conference-high 19 points on top of 8 assists to lead six TNT players in double figures in the wire-to-wire win that appeared already decided at halftime.
The Tropang Giga rained six three-pointers on the Beermen to build a comfortable 32-17 cushion after the opening quarter and stretched their lead to 26 points going into the break, 61-35.
San Miguel failed to recover as its deficit swelled to as big as 28 points.
Mikey Williams put up 18 points and 4 assists, Roger Pogoy had 18 points, while Troy Rosario chalked up 17 points and 8 rebounds despite sustaining a cut above his eye following a friendly fire with teammate Kelly Williams.
Kelly Williams, who missed the series' first four games due to health and safety protocols, made an immediate impact with 12 points and 3 rebounds in the win as he also helped contain Beermen star June Mar Fajardo.
Wearing a protective mask after suffering a fractured cheekbone in Game 4, big man Poy Erram contributed 10 points and 6 rebounds for TNT.
Fajardo still notched game-highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds despite the return of Kelly Williams and Erram, but the hole San Miguel fell into proved too deep to climb out of.
TNT 110 - Castro 19, M. Williams 18, Pogoy 18, Rosario 17, Williams 12, Erram 10, Reyes 6, Montalbo 5, Exciminiano 3, Marcelo 2, Khobuntin 0, Heruela 0, Alejandro 0.
San Miguel 90 - Fajardo 23, Perez 18, Santos 14, Romeo 12, Tautuaa 10, Lassiter 5, Ross 3, Pessumal 3, Cabagnot 2, Zamar 0, Gamalinda 0, Sena 0.
Quarters: 32-17, 61-35, 81-61, 110-90.
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.