40-somethings Kelly Williams, Yuta Tabuse face off as TNT battles home team in EASL
USTUNOMIYA, JAPAN — Often deadpan in conversations, TNT captain Kelly Williams flashed an ear-to-ear smile sometime during the kick-off presser for the East Asia Super League’s Champions Week.
The Tropang Giga said that the reason behind his wide grin was the man beside him, Utsonomiya Brex’s Yuta Tabuse.
“He told me about it (his age), I told him I’m 41,” he shared with a chuckle.
Tabuse, 42, is set skipper a tall Brex crew that takes on TNT in Wednesday’s opener also at Nikkan Arena.
He is also best known for being the first homegrown Japanese player to suit up in the National Basketball Association.
Both Williams and Tabuse are way past their primes now, but the latter is hardly looking like it.
A former PBA Most Valuable Player, Williams is still averaging 8.7 points 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists for TNT in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.
And barring any complications, he should be key for the Tropang Giga in their bid for a $250,000 (around P14 million) prize and bragging rights.
“We’re undersized but we’re hardworking and we’re versatile. So that’s our strength—along with our defense,” Williams said of TNT’s chances in the five-day showpiece.