Numbers That Matter: Magnolia’s Collective Effort and Mikey Williams’ Continued Brilliance

The Magnolia Hotshots avoided a 0-3 hole and drubbed the TNT Tropang GIGA in Game 3 via a 106-98 decision. Let’s look at the numbers that mattered and would matter in the next game.

(Advanced stats are courtesy of Stats by Ryan on, an advanced stats and metrics platform for Philippine basketball.)

Original photos via PBA Images


Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca, Calvin Abueva, and Jio Jalalon combined for 82 of Magnolia’s 106 total points in Game 3. With the addition of Abueva this conference, the Hotshots’ roster is at its deepest in recent years. While it’s true that they don’t have another shot creator or playmaker outside of those five aforementioned names, Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero makes up for it by staggering his stars’ minutes and having one or two of them lead the second unit. In Game 3, Abueva and Barroca came off the bench and immediately contributed to the team’s winning cause by being mostly efficient with their shots (combined 11-of-19 FG) and doing a bit of playmaking (three assists each).  

This is a Magnolia squad that has three players (Lee, Sangalang, Abueva) ranking in the Top 15 in scoring this conference, and they’re even more difficult to put away when Barroca and Jalalon also get going.


Magnolia’s free throw shooting was totally on-point in Game 3. They only missed two attempts and produced an overall 27-of-29 clip from the charity stripe. Lee and Rome dela Rosa expectedly made the most of their trips to the free throw line, but it was Sangalang and Abueva’s performances on that end that were pleasant surprises for the Hotshots.

Heading into Game 3, Abueva and Sangalang produced respective free throw rates of 69.4% and 63.6%. In fact, Sangalang only made 52% of his free throws in Magnolia’s semifinals matchup with Meralco, a low-efficiency rate that could prove to be his team’s Achilles heel considering that he absorbs a lot of contact as an inside scorer. But Sangalang and Abueva overcame the odds in Game 3, with each player producing a perfect 6-of-6 clip from the charity stripe.

On top of that, the Hotshots also made literally half of their shots (50% FG) and again pounded the ball inside and had 48 points in the paint as compared to the Tropang Giga’s 26. Magnolia went away from the three-ball and constantly put pressure on TNT’s defense by staying aggressive in their penetrations, and that surely paid dividends. 

Throughout the conference, Magnolia has done a great job in getting to the free throw line, as evidenced by their 25.7 free throw attempts, which ranks second in the league behind NorthPort. If they continue to bait for fouls and at least come close to the efficiency they showed at the charity stripe in Game 3, the Hotshots have a huge chance of tying this series in Game 4.


Mikey Williams is still on a hot streak, as what his ridiculously high 74.1% true shooting percentage (TS%) in Game 3 indicates. The TNT rookie guard drilled 10 triples on his way to a game-high 39 markers, breaking three records in the process. Mikey broke the league record for most three-pointers made by a rookie in a single game, and he also produced the most three-pointers in a Finals game. On top of that, his 39-point night also set the record for most points for a rookie in a Finals game since 1999. 

In his first three games in a PBA championship series, Mikey has put up outstanding averages of 29.3 points on shooting splits of 53.3/60.6/57.1 for a true shooting percentage of 69.8%. You can’t get any better than that, especially for a player who almost always gets his shots off the dribble.

Advanced Stats are now available for Philippine basketball! Through Ryan Alba’s ‘Stats by Ryan’, you can now look at team and player advanced stats for the current 2021 PBA Philippine Cup (and the previous three seasons) via the Dribble Media website.

Check out this glossary for a list of the basketball advanced stats terminologies.

You can also contact Ryan via his Twitter handle (@_alba__).

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