The Rundown from Friday’s PBA: Mikey Sustains Brilliance and Abueva’s Foul Troubles

If you happened to miss out on the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup’s Friday battle, here’s a quick rundown to keep you updated.

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

Photo via PBA Images

Magnolia’s defense fails again, TNT takes 2-0 lead

The TNT Tropang Giga asserted their dominance as they carved out a 105-93 Game 2 victory over the Magnolia Hotshots to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

Main Takeaways:

  • After a scintillating performance in Game 1, Mikey Williams again torched Magnolia by a game-high 28 points built on five treys and a 50% overall clip from the field. Mikey played a huge amount of minutes in Game 2 (41:47), but was mostly efficient all night as evidenced by his six assists and only two turnovers. It looked like everything came easy for the TNT rookie guard, and Magnolia’s faltering defense made it even easier for him to get off his shots. Even with all the momentum that he’s riding heading into this game, Mikey surprisingly had a lot of wide-open scoring opportunities, so that’s an area that the Hotshots’ defense has to really focus on in Game 3 this Sunday. 
  • The Calvin Abueva foul train keeps on rolling. Abueva has been one of the most impactful players in this conference, as indicated by his league-best 9.36 rating in Value Over Replacement Player (VORP). But he can’t wield his impact if he can’t stay on the floor because of his foul troubles caused by really careless and useless fouls. Abueva was subbed out early in the third quarter after incurring five fouls, then he made his final exit of six fouls at the fifth-minute mark of the final period. He still managed to tally a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds, which is again indicative of his high level of activity and energy that Magnolia greatly benefits from. 
  • The Tropang Giga are just so good as a drive-and-kick team, and they pounced on the Hotshots’ lowly perimeter defense in the opening quarter. TNT shot a whopping 10-of-15 clip from the three-point line in the first period alone, as they established an early 40-27 lead heading into the second quarter. TNT’s outside shooting in Game 2 was on-point, but that was mostly boosted by Magnolia’s too aggressive or too slow closeouts. The Tropang Giga eventually finished the game with a 46% overall clip from the field (33-71), including a 42% shooting from deep (17-40). It’s very tough to beat a team that’s shooting so well like that, and it’s now up to Magnolia to rethink what they need to do on the defensive end of the floor.

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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