PBA Finals: TNT draws quality minutes from returning Kelly Williams | Inquirer Sports

PBA Finals: TNT draws quality minutes from returning Kelly Williams

/ 10:30 PM April 16, 2023

Kelly Williams TNT PBA

TNT big man Kelly Williams during Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Lose one, gain one. Seemingly, that has been the case for TNT in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.

After losing Roger Pogoy due to a finger injury in Game 3, Tropang Giga welcomed Kelly Williams back into the lineup on Sunday after suffering a calf injury in the elimination round.


Williams may not have put up big numbers in his return but he did more than enough to help TNT level the best-of-seven series against Barangay Ginebra.


“Kelly helped out, especially on defense. You know he’s going to be rusty on offense but he can’t be rusty on defense,” said TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa after the Tropang Giga’s 116-104 victory.

“He gives you a sense of comfort that if the game gets to a grind-out, defense for defense, I know I can rely on Kelly. Having him there to sub in for Poy (Erram) when Poy gets tired so easily is a luxury.”

The 41-year-old Williams played 14 minutes and finished with two points and three rebounds.

Williams’ return also allowed forward Calvin Oftana to play through his strengths.

With Williams holding it down in the paint, Oftana flourished in the wings, knocking down 4-of-6 from long distance for 16 points.

“As a four, there are advantages and disadvantages. When I guard CStan (Christian Standhardinger), I get problems because he’s big and he can dominate the paint. Now that kuya Kelly is here, it gives us a huge advantage. We can get more defensive rebounds and I can crash the boards more,” Oftana said.


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TAGS: Kelly Williams, PBA Finals, TNT Tropang Giga

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