The Rundown from Wednesday’s PBA: TNT Showcase Versatility on Offense and Defense

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

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

Photo via PBA Images

TNT clicks on all fronts in Game 4

The TNT Tropang Giga moves one win away from clinching the All-Filipino championship as they thwarted the Magnolia Hotshots in Game 4, 106-89.

Main Takeaways:

  • In the first three games of the Finals, TNT only averaged 30.0 points from inside the paint. By the end of the third quarter of Game 4, they already had 44 inside points, as they established a 15-point lead heading into the final period. This was uncharacteristic for a Tropang Giga squad that relies heavily on their outside shooting — they attempt a second-highest mark of 34.6 three-pointers this conference. But Magnolia’s high count of 24 turnovers gave TNT the chance to capitalize via easy transition buckets and lay-ups, as indicated by their 31 points off their opponents’ turnovers. Moreover, TNT also attacked Magnolia’s closeouts, especially at times when the latter rolled out their box-and-one defense to hone in on containing Mikey Williams. Indeed, TNT used Game 4 to show everyone how good and versatile they are on both ends of the floor.
  • Ryan Reyes, who just turned 38 years of age last August, was the sparkplug in that TNT second quarter run that saw them outscore their counterparts, 33-15. The defensive-minded guard had a bunch of steals that led to his own breakaway finishes in transition, helping the Tropang Giga break away from the Hotshots and set the tone for the rest of the game. Reyes has been doing this kind of work the whole conference — his league-best rating of 5.65 in defensive box plus/minus (DBPM) says it all. He, along with another veteran in Kelly Williams, compose the backbone of a topnotch TNT defense that ranks second in the league in defensive rating (94.5). A masterful defensive performance like this from Reyes does not come as a suprise anymore.
  • After being recognized with the Best Player of the Conference award prior to tip-off, Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva came up with a good shooting display in Game 4. The 33-year-old combo forward tallied a game-high 28 points on shooting splits of 60/80/75 for an excellent true shooting percentage of 75.6%. Abueva managed to not get into foul trouble, but he also turned the ball over five times. Turnovers and that horrendous second quarter showing doomed the Hotshots’ chances tonight, but Abueva’s fine play on the offensive end of the floor was definitely a bright spot for them heading into a do-or-die Game 5 on Friday.

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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