Oct 14, 2021

Return of Kelly a respite for TnT

CHOT Reyes welcomed the return of Kelly Williams with open arms in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals especially with TnT Tropang Giga having to deal with the massive advantage of San Miguel's frontcourt anchored on June Mar Fajardo.

Williams, 39, was finally cleared to play in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series and his contributions, both tangibles and intangibles, were felt by the Tropang Giga, who roared to a quick start before coasting to a 110-90 win at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym.

The former MVP played close to 30 minutes as a starter in his first game in the semis, and finished with 12 points and three rebounds on 5-of-11 shooting from the field.

Those were huge enough numbers for Williams, considering he had to battle and make do guarding the 6-foot-10 Fajardo underneath.

"You saw it naman, just to have that extra body, that extra big guy to battle June Mar and Mo Tautuaa. They've been giving us huge problems through the series," said Reyes.

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"So having that extra big man was very big."

The reactivation of the 6-foot-6 Fil-Am forward also bolstered the middle for TnT, which suffered a huge blow in Game 4 following the injury suffered by center Poy Erram.

The 6-foot-8 Erram was diagnosed with a fractured cheekbone but played through pain by wearing a face mask that doesn't exactly fit his size.

Nonetheless, the former Defensive Player of the Year was all heart and suited up for 25 minutes to finish with 10 points and six rebounds.

Reyes had nothing but praises for his two bigs, who played key roles for the Tropang Giga to take a 3-2 lead in the series.

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"Credit to those two guys. They came out and gave us huge minutes even in less than ideal circumstances," said the TnT coach. (RG)