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TNT finish off Magnolia, rules PBA Philippine Cup

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TNT Tropang Giga ended its six years of wait for PBA glory with a 94-79 domination over Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots in Game 5 of the 2021 Philippine Cup Finals on Friday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Michael Williams drilled four triples and finished with 24 points, while Roger Pogoy and Jayson Castro added 19 and 10 markers, respectively, as the Tropang Giga finished the best-of-seven series at 4-1.

It was the Tropang Giga’s first PBA championship since the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup and was also the franchise’s first time to march as PBA All-Filipino conference kings since 2013.

The Hotshots surged to a 10-5 start in Game 5 but the Tropang Giga quickly turned things around with baskets from Jeth Troy Rosario, Glenn Khobuntin and Jayson Castro for a 21-12 lead.

The Tropang Giga leaned on consecutive hits from Williams in the second quarter to widen the lead to 45-22 but the Hotshots countered with a rally behind Jerrick Ahanmisi to trim the deficit to 33-47 at the half.

The Tropang Giga started the second half strong with conversions from Pogoy and John Paul Erram to increase the lead to 54-37. The Hotshots rallied to within 13 points but TNT pushed it back anew to 72-53 on hits by Ryan Reyes.

Magnolia showed some life early in the fourth quarter as they cut the deficit to 73-59 but TNT answered back with consecutive points from Williams, Reyes and Pogoy for their largest lead of 88-63.

The Hotshots made its last push with 10 straight points to claw to within 73-88 but free throws by Erram and Castro and a three-pointer by Williams secured the championship for the Tropang Giga.

Ian Sangalang finished the game with 18 points and nine rebounds, Calvin Abueva added 14 markers, while Ahanmisi and Andy Mark Barroca contributed 11 and 10, respectively, for the Hotshots.