By Princess Xyrill Baua


MANILA PHILIPPINES — TNT Tropang Giga dominated Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots, 94-79, in Game 5 of their best-of-seven Philippine Cup series to finally acquire the PBA Cup Title after six-year at Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga, Friday night.

Taking up a 4-1 lead series, Tropang Giga won their first championship since 2015 and avenged their runner-up finish in the All-Filipino Conference last year.

Rookie Mikey Williams, who proved to be more consistent down the stretch, finished with 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists to earn the title of Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) and lead TnT to victory.

Entering the First Quarter, Tropang Giga got off a slow start, trailing the rivals until midway through the first period, but an 11-2 run to end the opening period put them up by seven points, 21-14

They brought that momentum into the second quarter by surpassing the Hotshots' scoring, 26-19, to take a 47-33 halftime lead. TNT relied on its strong defense during that period, limiting Magnolia to only 8-of-26 shooting from the field.

Magnolia came alive in the third quarter, cutting their deficit to 15 points, 45-60, thanks to Ian Sangalang's basket.

TNT, on the other hand, received enough assistance from its supporting cast in the form of Glenn Khobuntin and Ryan Reyes to maintain their 72-53 lead at the end of the third period and move 12 minutes closer to the championship. That lead remained with TNT indefinitely.

With this victory in this year's All-Filipino conference, corporate rival San Miguel Corporation's reign came to an end after three of its clubs—Ginebra, San Miguel, and Magnolia—had dominated the previous seven editions.

Surprisingly, TNT won the championship by defeating these three clubs in the playoffs.

TNT 94 - M. Williams, 24, Pogoy 19, Castro 10, Reyes 9, Rosario 9, K. Khobuntin 8, Montalbo 7, Erram 7, Williams 1, Exciminiano 0, Heruela 0, Alejandro 0.
Magnolia 79 - Sangalang 18, Abueva 14, Ahanmisi 11, Barroca 10, Lee 7, Dela Rosa  5, Dionisio 5, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Jalalon 1, Brill 0, Corpuz 0, Melton 0.
Quarterscores: 21-14, 47-33, 72-53, 94-79.