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    TNT fires first salvo by mauling Magnolia in Game One

    5 days ago
    Mikey Williams led the way for TNT with 26 points.
    Mikey Williams led the way for TNT with 26 points.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    MIKEY Williams scored 26 points as TNT drew first blood in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals with a 108-96 victory over Magnolia Chicken Timplados on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    Williams scored 18 points right in the first half to help open a sizeable lead early and the Tropang GIGA never allowed Magnolia to get back, leading by as many as 24 points in the wire-to-wire victory for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

    RR Pogoy TNT versus Magnolia

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    Roger Pogoy had 23 points, while Glenn Khobuntin had 18 points in the TNT win during the rematch of last year’s Philippine Cup finals.

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    But the story was Williams, who also shot 7-of-14 from the field including four threes that set the tone offensively for TNT.

    “This is [just] one win and we are preparing for a long series. Whether it’s high scoring or not, our focus really is to get good shots and not to turn the ball over,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes.

    [See Gilas advisor Alfrancis Chua calls for start of Monday practices]

    Five Magnolia players scored in double figures with Calvin Abueva scoring 18 points and grabbing eight rebounds, but the slow start cost a weary team coming off a three-game battle against NLEX in the quarterfinals.

    Williams had 12 points in the second quarter alone, including a string of tough jumpers that enabled the Tropang GIGA to grab a 54-37 lead at the half.

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      TNT then led, 84-60, in the contest.

      The scores:

      TNT 108 – M. Williams 26, Pogoy 23, Khobuntin 18, Castro 12, Montalbo 8, Erram 6, K. Williams 4, Marcelo 4, Tungcab 3, Rosario 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Cruz 0, Alejandro 0.

      Magnolia Timplados 96 – Abueva 18, Jalalon 14, Sangalang 14, Dionisio 14, Laput 12, Lee 9, Barroca 7, Dela Rosa 5, Wong 2, Reavis 1, Corpuz 0, Zaldivar 0.

      Quarters: 28-19; 54-37; 86-66; 108-96.

      Mikey Williams led the way for TNT with 26 points.

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      Mikey Williams led the way for TNT with 26 points.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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