The TnT Tropang Giga fell short in its push to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots in their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup finals series on Sunday but their top rookie Mikey Williams had a historic night.
Mr. Williams, 28, the number four pick in this year’s rookie draft, shot his way to Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) finals history by uncorking 10 three-pointers in Game Three at the weekend.
The feat, as per league statistics, eclipsed the previous record set by teammate Jayson Castro, who fired nine triples back in 2015 against the Rain or Shine Elastopainters in the Commissioner’s Cup championship series.
It was also the most three-pointers made by a rookie, topping the eight by fellow 2021 draftee Calvin Oftana of the NLEX Road Warriors set earlier this conference.
Mr. Williams achieved the feat with much efficiency, going 10-of-18 from beyond the arc for a 55% shooting clip.
He finished the game with 39 points, and almost single handedly led his team to a come-from-behind win.
His total output in Game Three was the most of any rookie in the finals since 1999 when Eric Menk of Tanduay scored 42 points in a Game Three loss in the All-Filipino title series.
So good Mr. Williams was last time around that their Magnolia opponents could not help but heave praises to the young gun.
“The kid can score. You can only hope to limit him,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, who put different defenders on Mr. Williams to try to stop him, even big man Rafi Reavis down the stretch.
“Mikey is a born scorer. And we saw that today,” Hotshots guard Paul Lee, for his part, said.
Mr. Williams and the Tropang Giga try to bounce back in Game Four of the series on Wednesday. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo