PBA: With a target on his back, Mikey Williams looks to do more than just score
MANILA, Philippines–TNT’s lethal scorer Mikey Williams endured all the stops put up by Magnolia during their semifinal series, and he expects nothing but the same from San Miguel Beer in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
“I think coming into the series, I gotta expect the same thing,” Williams said. “Just gotta play my game and let the game flow and everything else will come together.”
How Williams will approach the Beermen’s game plan is among the intrigues going into the best-of-seven series which opens Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Finals Most Valuable Player of last season’s Philippine Cup averaged 27.0 points on 48-percent shooting in the first two games of the semis series with Magnolia.
Those numbers dipped to 14.5 points on a 32.8 shooting percentage in the next four matches as Williams had to deal with the tight defending of the Hotshots’ Rome dela Rosa and Adrian Wong.
Williams acknowledged the defensive schemes Magnolia made in the recent playoff series, but it also made him create other ways to help TNT prevail.
“People say [that] I was defended well, I think they did a great job on me,” Williams said. “But they made me pass the ball more. I’m a willing passer so I think the overall outcome of us just getting wins was most important to me.”
He dished out 7.0 assists in Games 3 to 6, allowing the Tropang Giga’s other players to deliver on offense, particularly team captain Jayson Castro.
Castro embraced regaining the role of the team’s top scoring option and responded with big games for the Tropang Giga.
“I really commend my teammates. They all stepped up real well,” Williams said. “They knew coming in I was gonna be the focal point for Magnolia to stop and me allowing and just being able to be a decoy at times, to allow the floor to open up for everybody else was just what we needed to push ahead.
“Jayson was big. He hit big shots, scored the ball well. He really gave us that jolt that we needed to get over the hump.”
Now in the Finals, Williams already has an idea of how San Miguel will try to put him out of his comfort levels.
Veteran guard and good friend Chris Ross has been mentioned as one, but Williams feels that CJ Perez and Simon Enciso could likely get themselves in the mix.
“I just gotta be on my A-game,” he said. “This is for all the money, you know. This is for everything that we prayed and hoped for at the start of the season and I just think I gotta be me in order for us to be successful.
“But first it starts with the team and everything else follows,” added Williams.