By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The formidable TNT Tropang Giga squad finally found their match and received a crushing loss against the powerhouse San Miguel Beermen, 83-67, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
It was a dominant performance both offensively and defensively for the Beermen after a blitzing start in the first five minutes of the ball game.
The waxing hot scoring duo of Marcio Lassiter and Terrence Romeo put the Beermen to a quick 16-2 lead that left the Tropang Giga bench frustrated early in the game.
SMB’s offensive barrage did not end there as their super second unit led by Moala Tautuaa and CJ Perez provided another set of problems for the struggling Tropang Giga.
Jayson Castro’s one-point production epitomized TNT’s offensive struggles as the defensive-minded Kib Montalbo led them with his 13 points.
Meanwhile, SMB’s balanced attack was a problem all night with Lassiter scoring 19, Romeo with 16, and Tautuaa and Perez with 13 apiece.
Six-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo only scored 8 points but grabbed 17 rebounds.
Defensive anchor and veteran Chris Ross did his damage and stole the ball six times to add to his majestic tally of four assists, five rebounds, and three points.
Despite their first loss, the Tropang Giga are still at solo lead with a 6-1 win-loss record while the Beermen moved up to fourth place with 4-2.