For a rookie who’s been heaping praises while spearheading his team in a Finals of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, Mikey Williams is indeed a man on a mission.
TNT Tropang Giga head coach Chot Reyes admitted that the sensational and explosive newcomer is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team claim their first PBA title in six years.
During their emphatic 106-89 victory over the Magnolia Hotshots in Game 4, the Best Player of the Conference runner-up showed no signs of rookie jitters by leading the charge anew with 26 points on top of 7 assists as the Tropang Giga moved on the cusp of the All-Filipino crown via commanding 3-1 advantage.
“Yes he can make shots, but he also does a lot of things for us – he rebounds, he plays defense for us, and the most important thing is he plays within the system,” said Reyes on William’s impressive showing. “His teammates love playing for him.”
The fourth overall pick, who had lost to Calvin Abueva in the BPC race, is currently putting up 28.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game in the finals, including a historic 39-point outburst with 10 triples in Game 3.
Meanwhile, the five-time PBA coach of the year also admitted that even he was surprised by the phenomenal showing of the super rookie in the best-of-seven championship series.
“Yes, I knew he’d play well. Would he play this well? Let’s say it’s a pleasant surprise,” Reyes said after Game 4. “But I think his teammates also have a lot to do with it.”
“To be very honest, coming into the playoffs, we really didn’t know what kind of game we would get from Mikey because this is his first – he’ll be the first to tell you – this is his first experience in a finals like this,” the coach added.
Reyes also pointed out that going up against the tough San Miguel Beermen squad, especially with veteran guard Chris Ross, was extremely beneficial for Williams.
“I think going up against a guard like Chris Ross in the semis was really instrumental for Mikey to develop I guess his confidence and his playmaking ability,” he said.
Williams and the rest of the flagship team of the MVP group will be looking to close out the series in Game 5 which is set on Friday, October 29, while the Hotshots are aiming to recover from a 1-3 deficit at the Don Honorio Ventura State Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.