Williams Kelly Williams of TNT battles June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer during Game 5 of the PBA Philippine Cup. PBA photo

Wiliams shines as Tropang Giga close in on PBA title

September 1, 2022 Robert Andaya 165 views

FORMER MVP Kelly Wiliams turned back the hands of time as defending champion TNT outlasted San Miguel Beer’ 102-93, to move within a win of retaining the title in PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last Wednesday Wiliams, who was named as the Most Valuable Player in 2008, finished with 21 points and nine rebound while holding his own against June Mar Fajardo to power the Tropang Giga to a pivotal Game 5 victory and a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven title series.

Another win in Game 6 on Friday or, if necessary, in Game 7 on Sunday would enable the Tropang Giga to complete a successful title defense of the All-Filipino crown which they won against Magnolia last year.

Williams had plenty of support and the 40-year-old Fil-American who entered the league as the No. 1 pick of Sta. Lucia Realty in 2006 quickly acknowledged it as he shared the credit with his teammates.

“No way it’s just on me,” said Williams, who also battled foul trouble, after the victory.

Williams’ effort against Fajardo , however, stood out. He left the “Kraken out of his comfort zone with his quick drives to the basket and long-range bombs. He went 4-of-6 from the rainbow territory.

Mikey Williams finished with 23 points, Poy Erram added 17 points and RR Pogoy contributed 14 points for the TropangGiga, who won despite losing ace gunner Jayson Castro.

Castro hurt his ankle early in the third period when he landed on the foot of Marcio Lassiter in the 7:29 mark.

Fajardo, the “Best Player of the Conference” winner, led San Miguel with 20 points and 16 rebounds.

The scores:

TNT (102 )-M.Williams 23, K.Williams 21, Erram 17, Castro 8, Rosario 6, Pogoy 5, Khobuntin 4, Marcelo 4, Montalbo 3, Ganuelas-Rosser 2.
San Miguel (93) – Fajardo 20, Cruz 16, Tautuaa 12, Perez 10, Manuel 10, Ross 9, Enciso 6, Brondial 6, Lassiter 4.
Quarterscores: 24-28, 53-50, 84-75, 102-93.