MANILA, Philippines – Mikey Williams has earned himself a new fan in NBA player Jordan Clarkson.
With Clarkson watching from the sidelines at the Araneta Coliseum in Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup finals, Williams put on a show and helped TNT notch a nail-biting 86-84 victory over San Miguel on Sunday, August 21.
The Rookie of the Year let loose in the third quarter and unloaded 12 of his 21 points in the period as he keyed their come-from-behind win capped by a Jayson Castro buzzer-beater.
All of Williams’ 12 third-quarter points came during a 25-7 run that turned a 41-54 deficit to a 66-60 lead for the Tropang Giga.
“Big fan! Mikey Williams got game!” tweeted Clarkson, who is in the country to join Gilas Pilipinas for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this month.
According to Williams, he has known the Filipino-American star even before he joined the PBA.
Williams hails from Los Angeles, while Clarkson got drafted by the Lakers in 2014 and spent his first four seasons in the NBA with the storied franchise.
“That is love,” Williams’ said when asked about the praise from Clarkson. “I know him from LA. I played with him a lot out there. So I’m familiar with him.”
As TNT escaped with a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, Williams said the team needs to break its bad habit of slow starts.
“We need to start off better in the first half. I feel like that was our downfall. We were down in the half, we had to plan a little comeback, and we had to buckle down and get some stops down the stretch,” Williams said.
“I think we did pretty good as a unit.”
The Tropang Giga shoot for a 2-0 lead when they meet the Beermen in the second game on Wednesday, August 24, at the same venue. – Rappler.com