Top TNT rookie to finally make PBA debut

Top TNT rookie to finally make PBA debut

MANILA, Philippines – Highly touted freshman Mikey Williams finally makes his debut as TNT Tropang Giga return to action against Rain or Shine in the 46th PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The Tropang Giga, who came from almost a two-week isolation due to the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, parade their No. 4 rookie pick at 3 p.m. opposite a determined Elasto Painters side raring to bounce back from a forgettable loss the other day.

At 12:30 p.m., unbeaten Magnolia guns for win No. 4 against Terrafirma to firm up hold of the top spot almost halfway through the eliminations.

Eyes will also be on title holder Barangay Ginebra in the main game at 6 p.m. when it crosses path with former anchor Greg Slaughter with his new squad Northport.

TNT last saw action last July 17 in a narrow 86-79 win against the Dyip and as much as it is brimming with excitement to hit the court anew, coach Chot Reyes is wary of an expected rust and little to no preparation after a long time in isolation.

"We're excited but unprepared because we still haven't had a complete practice. Rain or Shine will be very hungry while we will be very rusty. It's an interesting match," Reyes told The STAR as TNT faces a ROS unit aching to shrug off its 74-48 loss against Alaska, the lowest scoring output in its franchise history.

Good thing for the Tropang Giga, an anticipated sparkplug in Williams is on board at last after being stalled by his own quarantine period upon arrival from the United States and TNT's isolation just when he was on verge to suit up.

TNT activated the 6-foot-2 Williams in lieu of veteran Ryan Reyes while Rain or Shine also promoted Franky Johnson, its No. 17 rookie selection, from its 3×3 roster, in place of sophomore Prince Rivero.

Also in the spotlight is the 7-foot-0 Slaughter, who is tipped to be a thorn on the side of his old squad for seven years after figuring in a gigantic one-on-one Ginebra-Northport trade for the 6-foot-9 Christian Standhardinger last March.

The former Best Player of the Conference Slaughter last time out proved that he's still got it, unleashing a 23-point, 17-rebound performance against no less than six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and San Miguel Beer in Northport's slim 88-86 loss.

Slaughter will be up against his former partner Japeth Aguilar with his new twin tower tandem Standhardinger in a crucial tussle between struggling squads sporting similar 1-2 slates.

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