MIKEY Williams scored 22 of his 26 points in the second period as TNT ousted Converge, 116-95, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.
Williams put on a scoring show a day after signing a three-year contract extension, helping the Tropang GIGA progress to the semifinals where they will face either Magnolia or NLEX in a best-of-five series.
TNT showed no signs of rust after returning to action after 17 games. The second-seed Tropang GIGA scored 40 points in the second canto alone to break away to a 70-42 lead at the half against the seventh-ranked FiberXers.
The reigning champions led by as many as 33 points in the lopsided, wire-to-wire victory, which also marked Troy Rosario's triumphant return from a long injury layoff which he marked with 18 points and seven rebounds.
“We are far from satisfied with our game. We know there is still a lot to improve on and to work on,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes, who paid tribute to his cousin Pia who recently passed away.
"Whoever it is that we are going to play in the semis is going to be a tough match-up."
Reyes said they didn’t want to be dragged into a rubber match against a Converge side they only beat by three points during their elimination-round face-off.
“This life that we have is short and we have to take advantage of the opportunity and not take anything for granted because what we have here, this advantage that we have coming in, it can be gone very, very easily,” said Reyes.
RR Pogoy had 16 points, while Jayson Castro added 15 points for TNT in the win.
The loss put a premature end to the first playoff run of Converge in franchise history since purchasing the Alaska team during the offseason.
TNT 116 – M. Williams 26, Rosario 18, Pogoy 16, Castro 15, K. Williams 10, Montalbo 9, Erram 7, Tungcab 5, Banal 5, Khobuntin 3, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Cruz 0, Alejandro 0, Marcelo 0.
Converge 95 – Hill 18, DiGregorio 14, Murrell 11, Tratter 10, Ahanmisi 10, Arana 8, Tolomia 5, Racal 5, Adamos 4, Stockton 3, Ambohot 3, Ilagan 2, Bulanadi 2, Browne 0.
Quarters: 30-20; 70-42; 97-67; 116-95.
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