Orlando Johnson struggles in return as Beermen fall to Tropang Giga

Orlando Johnson made his much-awaited debut for San Miguel but his return was overshadowed by the hot-shooting Mikey Williams as TNT snapped a 2-game skid with a 96-81 victory over the Beermen, Wednesday night in the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 32-year old Johnson, who played for Brgy. Ginebra seven years ago and was tapped to replace the team’s original choice Brandon Brown, struggled all game long and could only muster 12 points on a horrendous 3-of-22 shooting from the field to go along with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Williams, on the other hand, exploded for 30 points built on 7-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc, 6 coming in the second half.

“I haven’t played a good game in the last 2 games and I was really down on myself about it. My teammates, they kept telling me, keep shooting, keep doing what I’m doing, so that’s what I did,” said Williams.

Tropang Giga head coach Chot Reyes, however, credited the team’s defense as the key to their 3rd win in 7 starts.

“Mikey did his job in the fourth quarter just like in the last game, but I thought it was the work of our big men containing JunMar (Fajardo), Ryan Reyes on Orlando Johnson, for Mikey’s offense to matter in this game,” said the newly designated Gilas Pilipinas mentor.

“We didn’t score anymore in this game compared to the previous two games. That means we played terrible defense the previous two games. We took focus on our defense and we were able to limit the other team and we won with the same production with same production that we had in the past two games,” he added.

TNT import Aaron Fuller hauled down a game-high 26 rebounds to go with 22 points, 2 assists and 6 blocks.

June Mar Fajardo paced the Beermen with 22 points and 14 boards while Terrence Romeo and Vic Manuel chipped in 18 and 15 markers, respectively.

San Miguel takes a three-day break before plunging back into action on Sunday, February 20 against the skidding Gin Kings.

The scores:

TNT Tropang Giga 96 – M. Williams 30, Fuller 22, Rosario 9, Montalbo 8, K. Williams 8, Castro 6, Banal 4, Erram 4, Reyes 3, Khobuntin 2, Heruela 0.

San Miguel Beermen 81 – Fajardo 22, Romeo 18, Manuel 15, Johnson 12, Perez 6, Tautuaa 5, Lassiter 3, Brondial 0, Ross 0, Enciso 0.

Quarterscores: 22-24, 40-40, 65-59, 96-81.

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