Jan 21, 2022

Norwood finds TNT rookie Williams a defensive challenge

ONE of the PBA's top defensive players finds TNT rookie Mikey Williams an intriguing match-up this season.

Rain or Shine veteran Gabe Norwood considers the Fil-Am freshman guard as the toughest to defend in the league right now.

"You really have to step up your game in terms of your defensive mindset to really bring out the best in me as a player and as a defender," said the 36-year-old Norwood, a former Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time member of the All-Defensive Team.

But the Rain or Shine guard referred to Williams as someone 'fun to watch' during his guesting in the nightly sports show The Game.

"He can score and he's played at such a high level even before setting foot in the PBA," said Norwood.

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So far, in his brief stint with the Tropang Giga, the 30-year-old Williams already showed what he can bring on the table by playing a major role in the franchise's ending a six-year title drought by winning the Philippine Cup championship last year, in which the California native was adjudged the PBA Press Corps Finals MVP.

Williams currently leads all TNT locals in scoring with an average of 18.2 per game in the season-ending Governors' Cup.

He also normed 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists as the Tropang Giga remained at the .500 mark (2-2) before the tournament was postponed temporarily following the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Norwood hopes to eventually learn to effectively defend Williams as he gets accustomed at the way the flashy guard plays.

"I've been around in the league for a while and he's a new face. He's a guy that I haven't had to defend that much. I haven't really figured him out yet in terms of what makes him uncomfortable, what he likes to do, and things like that," the Rain or Shine stalwart pointed out.

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"I think it's more of the mystery for me with Mickey." (RG)