The Rundown from Wednesday’s PBA: Mikey’s Mastery and Magnolia’s Turnovers

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

Photo via PBA Images

Mikey’s shot-making, TNT’s defense shoot down Magnolia

The TNT Tropang Giga raced right out the gates as they handed out a convincing 88-70 beating of the Magnolia Hotshots in Game 1 of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

Main Takeaways:

  • Mikey Williams may have stolen the show in Game 1, but he did not single-handedly give his team the win. Mikey didn’t even score in the first quarter when TNT blew the game wide open. The Tropang Giga’s lead even went up to 18 points during that early stage as they constantly attacked the Hotshots’ defense with their penetrations, leading to a lot of drive-and-kick opportunities. On defense,TNT forced Magnolia to seven turnovers in the opening period, making life very uncomfortable for them right from the get-go. The Hotshots finished with only nine assists, while committing a whopping total of 28 turnovers the whole game.
  • It was in the second quarter that Mikey decided to take over. The 29-year-old rookie displayed his experience and discipline by reading what the defense gave him in the pick-and-roll, and then changing pace when necessary. On the single coverage, Mikey showed his talent by putting his individual defenders on skates and hitting a handful of high-looping three-pointers. The TNT spitfire gunner finished with 21 points built on five triples, then stuffed the rest of his stat sheet with 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. 
  • We don’t know why Magnolia decided not to play Ian Sangalang in the second half, but he got a sneak peek of what the TNT defense has in store for him in this series. Whenever Sangalang made a move at the post, the Tropang Giga defense collapsed on him and they were willing to give up a foul and force him to earn his points at the charity stripe. This could prove to be an effective defensive strategy for the Tropang Giga, as Sangalang is not a good free throw shooter. In fact, he only made 52% of his free throws in the Meralco series, and is only averaging 63% in the entire conference. In Game 1 of the Finals, Sangalang had nine free throw attempts in the first half alone, but only hit three of them. Until Sangalang can prove that he can improve his success rate from the free throw line, the TNT defense will be more than content to force him there instead of letting him score inside the paint. 

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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