ANTIPOLO, Philippines – A true pro.
Chot Reyes praised Mikey Williams for his professionalism as the Filipino-American guard delivered the goods for TNT despite struggling to strike a new deal with the Tropang Giga.
Williams churned out a game-high 27 points on top of 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals to steer TNT to an 87-72 thumping of Phoenix on Sunday, June 26, for its third straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“The key with Mikey that a lot of people do not know is that he is very coachable. You can be very direct with him. If he makes a mistake on the court, he actually prefers it you tell him directly,” said Reyes.
“If you want to do something differently, he is also very open to it. I think that is the important thing. And coachability is the mark of a true professional.”
Williams missed their first four games of the season as he and the Tropang Giga continued to iron out contract negotiations.
He debuted against Rain or Shine in an 89-85 overtime win with 15 points, although he shot a 5-of-20 clip from the field for a measly 25%.
But the newly crowned Rookie of the Year showed what his team missed – a deadly scorer capable of taking over any game – as he torched the Fuel Masters with 11 points in their fourth-quarter breakaway.
Williams doubled his shooting percentage against Phoenix, making 10 of his 20 shots.
“Even from the start, when we were talking, I think the critical part was we had to keep our player-coach relationship strong and differentiate that from the player-manager relationship,” said Reyes, who momentarily handled the negotiations between Williams and the Tropang Giga.
“I think that was a big step with what you’re seeing now, that no matter having protracted negotiations, the communication as player and coach remains very direct, very open.”
Williams looks to inch closer to his top form as TNT shoots for a fourth straight victory when it tangles with NorthPort on Wednesday, June 29, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com