The Tropang Giga are moving on to the semifinals, but it looks like Kelly Williams won’t be joining them in uniform.
Top seed TNT Tropang Giga showed out their firepower once again as they clobbered the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters in their PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals matchup, 132-105.
Six players scored at least 14 points for the squad of coach Jojo Lastimosa, paced by RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro, who notched 25 and 20, respectively, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
Glenn Khobuntin was hailed Player of the Game after scoring 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including a blistering 5-for-10 clip from beyond the arc. Import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had a triple-double of 18 markers, 12 boards, and 10 dimes.
And it seems this TNT depth will be put to the test. Big man and former PBA MVP Kelly Williams, who injured his calf in the opening period of the game against Phoenix, might be out a significant amount of time.
“Pulled calf, that doesn’t go away very quickly,” said Lastimosa. “We’re expecting the worst in Kelly.”
Enter Poy Erram, who has returned to the lineup after undergoing knee procedure earlier in the season.
Lastimosa wanted to be more cautious in bringing back Erram to action, but it’s not like he has a wealth of choices at this point.
“They were pushing Poy to play some minutes tonight. Ako, actually, on the contrary ayoko gamitin si Poy… I don’t know how good a shape he was in,” Lastimosa explained.
It was only after the egging on of Chot Reyes, who has taken on the consultant role for TNT, when Lastimosa called Erram’s number.
“Chot pushed for him in the last five minutes, ‘Subukan mo na si Poy, subukan mo na si Poy.’ Kasi we might need him down in the playoffs now knowing Kelly might have a season-ending injury,” Jolas added.
The 6-foot-7 pivot delivered, making all his three field goal attempts to score 6 points in a quick, five-minute stint. He also grabbed 3 rebounds.
Whether Erram is already at 100% or still on the way there, Lastimosa will need more from his returning starting center.
The coach, nonetheless, remains unfazed.
“Having Poy come back at this time, now knowing Kelly might not be there, so I’m not too worried about our position at the five.”