ANTIPOLO, Philippines – TNT head coach Jojo Lastimosa said big man Poy Erram will figure in a more prominent role as the Tropang Giga eye to make a deep run in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Erram put up 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block in over 12 minutes of play in just his second game of the conference to help TNT seize control of its best-of-five semifinals against Meralco following a 110-80 rout on Friday, March 24.
“Very significant minutes for Poy. He was really efficient,” said Lastimosa.
“Looking at Poy there, 6’8 guy who can actually shrink the floor for us and help us on defense, we missed him.”
Erram sat out the entire elimination round after undergoing knee surgery in January, although the Tropang Giga flourished even without him as they clinched the top seed with a near-perfect 10-1 record.
But his return proved to be timely, with TNT looking to rely on Erram after starting center Kelly Williams suffered a calf injury in their quarterfinal win over Phoenix two days prior.
Williams did not play against the Bolts, missing a game for the first time this conference.
“We’re going to need Poy down the stretch. If we’ll be blessed… to go to the finals, then Poy is going to be a valuable player for us,” said Lastimosa.
Although bracing for the worst, Lastimosa said there is a chance for Williams to come back, a possibility that will give the Tropang Giga the luxury of having two of their best big men available at the same time.
“We’re not counting him out. He wants to play. Let us see where we go from here,” said Lastimosa.
TNT shoots for a commanding 2-0 lead when it meets Meralco again on Sunday, March 26, at the Ynares Center. – Rappler.com
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