Mikey Williams responds to challenge with superb performance in Game 2

Published October 23, 2021, 9:43 AM

by Jonas Terrado

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There seems to be no stopping TNT super rookie Mikey Williams after another fine performance against Magnolia Pambansang Manok in Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

Expecting Magnolia to tighten up its defense, Williams responded by dropping 28 points on 10-of-20 shooting while also contributing on other aspects with nine rebounds and six assists that helped the Tropang Giga produce a 105-93 victory Friday, Oct. 22.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Williams said. “But my teammates and my coaches just told me to just expect it. It was something that we couldn’t game plan for but until that finally happened, we just made our adjustments from there.

“I figured that if I just keep my composure and try to play through whatever’s going on, I’ll be fine,” the fourth pick in the PBA Rookie Draft added.

There’s no doubt Williams is the best player after two games of the best-of-seven championship series, averaging 25.5 points on 51-percent shooting with 9.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists.

His field goal numbers have been the biggest improvement after a 32-percent clip during a tough semifinal series with San Miguel Beer where he spent seven games trying to figure out ways to play against a premier defender in Chris Ross.

Now facing Magnolia’s top frontcourt defenders Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon, Williams has found the groove which has helped him make pull-up jumpers with consistency.

He’s also getting pointers from TNT’s other main players in Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy, who this conference have sacrificed some of their offensive numbers in order to have a talented scorer like Williams fit in the mold.

“I commend those guys,” said Williams. “They’re great people to learn from. They’ve been in this situation before. They’re telling me to just stay aggressive and just keep sticking with it.”

Two great games, however, has only resulted in TNT going up 2-0 in the series. Williams and company are bracing for more tough encounters as they aim to close in on the championship that has eluded the TNT franchise for so long.

 
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