Mikey Williams returned to his scoring ways as he spearheaded a huge fourth quarter rally for TNT to beat the skidding Phoenix Super LPG, 87-72, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Sunday, June 26.
After a back-and-forth affair in the first three quarters, the Tropang Giga shifted to a higher gear in the final frame as Williams unloaded seven straight points, triggering a huge 18-2 explosion which left the Fuel Masters in the dust to pick up their fifth win in seven games.
Williams finally found his groove in his second game since his return, putting up an all-around effort of 27 points, seven assists and six rebounds while RR Pogoy bounced back from a dismal outing in their last game with 20 markers.
More than the offensive explosion in the payoff period, head coach Chot Reyes commended the defense of the Tropang Giga which limited the Fuel Masters to just 14 points in the last 12 minutes of the game.
On top of that, TNT also put the clamps on Matthew Wright who only had three points across his name on a measly 1-of-11 shooting from the field
“I think our defense kinda wore them down, forcing them to miss after miss and then when we gave ourselves enough opportunities to get shots up,” said Reyes. “You know Mikey when you give him a lot of opportunities, he’s going to make those shots.”
Sean Anthony and Tyler Tio chipped in 13-points apiece while Javee Mocon added 12 markers but still weren’t enough for the Fuel Masters who were without leading scorer Jason Perkins due to health and safety protocols.
Only up by five, 66-61, Williams took charge and scored on two breakaway layups before nailing a tough step-back right corner triple over Anthony, triggering the telling run early in the final frame. TNT’s defense also smothered Phoenix on the other end as it kept them scoreless for a good five-minute span.
As the dust settled, the Tropang Giga already built a commanding 81-63 lead with a little over three minutes left in the game – an advantage that proved to be enough to sink the Fuel Masters to a 2-4 record.