TNT was glad to get some important minutes from Kelly Williams, who played Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against Magnolia Pambansang Manok despite dealing with back spasms.
Coach Chot Reyes said the 40-year-old played a key role in the Tropang Giga’s 105-93 victory that gave them a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Finals, two days after being placed on a stretcher at the end of Game 1 after hurting his back while going for a transition dunk.
Reyes even placed Williams in the starting lineup despite being in “50-60 percent” condition and contributed three points and five rebounds in almost 23 minutes.
“I can’t overemphasize how important Kelly is just being here to our scheme of things. He anchors our defense,” Reyes said after the second game of the title series held Friday, Oct. 22 at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Williams has been praised for the intangibles he has provided in the Tropang Giga’s run to the finals.
He also provides a different dimension to the TNT frontcourt which also has the versatile Troy Rosario and the presence of Poy Erram.
“Every minute that he can contribute is golden minutes for Poy, Troy, and the other bigs to get some rest so that Kelly’s able to play,” said Reyes, who also expressed worries about Williams’ status for Game 3 on Sunday.
“We subbed him out again in the fourth and we couldn’t get him back in because his back spasms are acting up,” the Tropang Giga bench tactician said.
“We’ll see how it’s going to be for the next game but as you can see, he’s a big part of our defensive game plan.”