(UPDATED) TNT Tropang GIGA moved just a win away from advancing to the PBA Philippine Cup finals after dealing San Miguel Beer a 110-90 beating in Game 5 of their best-of-7 semifinal series.
Jayson Castro provided the Texters the leadership they needed after they bowed to the Beermen in Game 4, 116-90.
Castro fired 19 points on 6-of-13 field goal shooting to go with his eight assists in Game 5.
Also making an impact was the return of Kelly Williams, following clearance from the league’s health and safety protocols.
Together with Poy Erram, Williams helped establish TNT's presence inside the paint against the likes of San Miguel giants June Mar Fajardo and Moala Tautuaa.
"You saw it, just to have an extra big guy to battle June Mar and Mo Tautuaa... was very big," said TNT coach Chot Reyes.
"We didn't know if (Williams) could play until this morning. We had to wait until he could pass his antigen test."
The Texters used a huge first quarter where they outscored the Beermen, 32-17.
TNT rode on the momentum, leading by as much as 28 points, before completing the wire-to-wire win.
The Textes were also deadly from the perimeter, outshooting the Beermen just like they did in their Game 3 win.
Williams finished with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Erram, who had to wear a mask to protect his fractured cheekbone, tallied 10 markers and six boards.
Mikey Williams and Roger Pogoy added 18 points even as Troy Rosario contributed 17 markers and eight boards.
"Alam natin sobrang lakas ng San Miguel, at sanay lumaro sa championship. Pero kahit malakas sila, alam namin may tsansa kami if we make our shots," said Castro.
TNT 110 - Castro 19, M. Williams 18, Pogoy 18, Rosario 17, K. Williams 12, Erram 10, Reyes 6, Montalbo 5, Exciminiano 3, Marcelo 2, Khobuntin 0, Heruela 0, Alejandro 0, Javier 0, Mendoza 0.
SMB 90 - Fajardo 23, Perez 18, Santos 14, Romeo 12, Tautuaa 10, Lassiter 5, Pessumal 3, Ross 3, Cabagnot 2, Zamar 0, Gotladera 0, Comboy 0, Gamalinda 0, Sena 0.
Quarters: 32-17, 61-35, 81-61, 110-90.