TNT’s Mikey Williams on pace to become first PBA rookie MVP in 32 years
MANILA, Philippines — TNT guard Mikey Williams is on track to make more history in just his first season in the PBA.
After becoming only the third PBA rookie to be named Finals MVP, Williams is also on target to win the season MVP plum as he paces the statistical race at the end of the Philippine Cup.
Benjie Paras remains the only rookie to have won season MVP when he accomplished the feat in 1989.
Williams could be next after he climbed over Magnolia forward Calvin Abueva, the newly-minted Best Player of the Conference, on the table with a league-leading 35.3 statistical points.
The Cal State Fullerton product heads into the second conference, as the league’s top scorer averaging 18.7 points per game.
He led the Tropang Giga to their first PBA championship in six years, collecting 27.6 points. 5.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per outing in the title series against the Hotshots.
“I feel like this is just a surreal moment for us, we put the work in, it’s been a real challenge for everybody. I think we’re all very blessed at this moment and we’re gonna enjoy this moment,” said Williams after TNT ended its title drought on Friday.
“It took a minute to adjust but everybody welcomed me with open arms. They continued to push me and continued to work. I thank everybody behind me, the 15 players, and the coaches.”
The 29-year-old Williams, the difference-maker for TNT, shot a blistering 51.5% from the field and 54.5% from downtown.
Rounding out the top five in the stats ladder are NorthPort’s Robert Bolick, Abueva, Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang and San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo.