The TNT Tropang Giga proved why they are one of the best teams in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup restart after they blew out the Blackwater Bossing, 96-76, at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Wednesday, September 1.
With the win, TNT kept its record clean at 4-0 for a share of first place alongside the Magnolia Hotshots, while Blackwater stayed winless at the cellar with a 0-5 record.
Star rookie Mikey Williams led all scorers with 16 points off the bench while RR Pogoy added 13 markers and 4 assists.
Jayson Castro also showed up in his hometown return with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 dimes, and a steal in 24 minutes off the bench.
Although the Bossing led 43-37 at the half after a 25-9 second quarter, TNT quickly destroyed any momentum they had entering the third quarter after a massive 23-5 run, ending with a Brian Heruela triple at the 4:52 mark.
Blackwater failed to recreate its first half magic from then on as TNT led by as many as 26 late in the fourth frame, 94-68, off a steal and score by Jayjay Alejandro with 3:10 left.
“Our objective in this game was to put together 48 minutes of good basketball, and obviously we failed, because Blackwater outplayed us in the first 24,” said TNT head coach Chot Reyes in the postgame presser.
“Credit to coach Nash (Racela), and his staff. They came out with a very solid game plan against us. We really had a hard time in the first half. But fortunately, we were able to adjust, and I think our depth showed in the second half.”
Former TNT guard Simon Enciso led the way in another sorry loss with 14 points while Kelly Nabong chipped in an 11-marker, 11-board double-double.
TNT will next put up its undefeated streak on the line against powerhouse sister team Meralco Bolts on Friday, September 3, 6 pm, the same day Blackwater will try to upset Magnolia at 12:30 pm.
TNT 96 – M. Williams 16, Pogoy 13, Castro 11, Marcelo 9, Montalbo 9, Heruela 8, Rosario 8, Erram 8, Khobuntin 7, Alejandro 7, K. Williams 0, Exciminiano 0, Javier 0, Mendoza 0.
Blackwater 76 – Enciso 14, Nabong 11, Cruz 11, Amer 9, Canaleta 8, Daquioag 6, Paras 4, Tolomia 4, Escoto 4, Golla 3, Desiderio 2, Magat 0, Semerad 0, Dennison 0, Torralba 0.
Quarters: 28-18, 37-43, 74-60, 96-76.