TNT Tropang GIGA prevailed against the San Miguel Beermen,89-88, in their Sunday night match at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga, clinching the first win in their best-of-seven face-off for the semifinals series of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup. 

Shooting guard Roger Pogoy ensured his team’s win with an 89-84 lead, scoring a layup in the last minute and a half of the fourth quarter. This, against the Beermen’s Chris Ross, whose defense failed to stop the incoming assault. 

Although chances seemed low, the Beermen bounced back with two layups from CJ Perez almost tying the score, 89-88. 

However, Marcio Lassiter’s last-ditch attempt at another layup for the Beermen proved no match against TNT’s Poy Erram, preserving his team’s one-point lead and eventual triumph. 

“It was just all effort, I think the key was us believing winning despite the absence of Kelly, you know how big the role Kelly plays here,” TNT Head Coach Chot Reyes said.

“We said the most important thing is we can win in spite of Kelly’s absence and the guys believed it showed in the way they played tonight,” he added. 

TNT’s big man Kelly Williams was unable to participate in the game after being placed under the league’s health and safety protocols. 

Pogoy finished with 23 points overall, Jayson Castro with 16. Meanwhile, Erram and Troy Rosario pitched in 15 and 14 points, respectively for the Tropang Giga. 

For SMB, Perez tied Pogoy’s score with 23 points while center June Mar Fajardo added 13 points. 

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Image credit: PBA