TNT rookie Mikey Williams drew huge praise from Magnolia star Paul Lee and coach Chito Victolero as the Tropang Giga ace continue to torch the Hotshots in the PBA Philippine Cup finals.
Williams shrugged off the vaunted Magnolia defense in Game 3 on Sunday, October 24, and set a new PBA record for most three-pointers in a finals game after sinking 10 triples to finish with a career-high 39 points.
Although his fiery performance went down the drain as TNT lost 98-106, Williams’ efforts did not go unnoticed, with Lee and Victolero tipping their hats off to the PBA newcomer.
“I think we all know it, he’s very good. He’s NBA-caliber. I think he played in the D League,” Victolero said in a mix of Filipino and English.
Prior to joining the PBA, Williams saw action in the NBA G League for the Sioux Falls Skyforce and the Canton Charge.
“He loves to score. He’s able to find a way around the schemes that we employ against him,” Victolero added.
Victolero assigned multiple defenders to hound the red-hot Williams – deploying point guard Jio Jalalon, small forward Rome dela Rosa, and even big man Rafi Reavis.
But Williams still found the bottom of the net as he scored the most points by a rookie in a PBA finals game since Eric Menk dropped 42 points in the 1999 Philippine Cup, according to league statistician Fidel Mangonon.
Williams is currently averaging 29.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1 steal in the finals.
“Every time that he scores a three-pointer or makes a big shot, coach Chito and the coaching staff think of a way to limit Mikey,” Lee said.
“It seems like he’s born to score. He’s that good.”
Williams will once again be a marked man in Game 4 as the Hotshots eye to knot the best-of-seven series. – Rappler.com