Walker fights off cramps, leads Elite to victory
There was no stopping Henry Walker on Sunday night and not even a bad case of leg cramps could slow him down.
Walker was cramping up as early as the third quarter but he fought through it and willed Blackwater to its first win in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup.
“Most definitely, probably the most fun I’ve had playing here. Period. Today was just great,” said Walker, who had a triumphant debut for the Elite, following a 92-86 win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
“I was cramped up from probably around the four-minute mark of the third quarter. So I’m just praying like ‘just get me through this game’ but the whole time, I was just trying to instill in my teammates that it doesn’t matter if I score 50 points. If we don’t do this as a collective, we’re not gonna win,” he added.
The 29-year-old Walker replaced Trevis Simpson, who suffered a groin injury. Elite went 0-3 before Walker came in.
The former NBA veteran, who had stints with the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, made immediate impact with his new team as he provided leadership apart from his numbers.
“There comes a time, we’re 0-3, you gotta get tired of losing. You just gotta go out there and compete,” he said after putting up 32 points, 14 in the fourth quarter, and 15 rebounds.
“You know my mindset. You gotta kill me off. I’m going for the win. I’m a competitor and that’s just how I feel. I don’t look at the 0-3, we’re 0-0 right now. Anything can happen, we just gotta believe and go out and play.”
Walker also commended JP Erram’s effort in shutting down Phoenix import Eugene Phelps.
The Fuel Masters’ explosive import was limited to just 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field.
“Erram competed today, he went up against Phelps. Phelps is no walk in the park, that’s a big, mobile guy and Erram held him to 13 points. After he busted his jaw, he came back and he did that for the team. We rallied around that,” he said.
Walker shared he has also shed some weight and he did look noticeably lighter compared to his last PBA stint with NLEX in 2016.
“I got this new skinny body, I’m moving a little faster than I’m normally accustomed to and it just so happened that I cramped up today.”