Kelly Williams turned back the hands of time and powered TNT past San Miguel, 102-93, in Game 5 of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup Finals, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The 40-year old Williams, who came out of retirement almost immediately after Chot Reyes assumed his old post as head coach of the Tropang Giga, scattered 21 points highlighted by 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc to go with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 33 minutes of action.
The victory enabled the flagship team of the MVP group to grab in the upper hand anew, 3-2, in the best-of-seven championship series.
“I just tried to go out there and do my part,” said Williams during the post-game press conference with the winning coach and best player of the match.
“Coach has been saying it all year, this team is built for adversity. We’ve had guys in and out. Of course, Jayson is a huge part of why we’re here, but we know it’s on us to try to fill the shoe collectively,” he added.
Mikey Williams paced TNT with 23 points, 18 coming from 3-point area, in addition to 4 boards and a team-best 5 assists. Poy Erram added 17 markers, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks while RR Pogoy chipped in 14 points.
Jayson Castro, who suffered an ankle injury in the 7:29 mark of the 3rd frame and never returned, finished with 8 points.
Newly crowned Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo led the charge of the Beermen with 20 points and 16 rebounds in 39 minutes of play. Jericho Cruz scored 16 while Mo Tuatuaa contributed 12 markers. CJ Perez and Vic Manuel added 10 points apiece.
San Miguel will try to force a winner-take-all match when the two sides clash anew of Friday, September 2, 5:45pm at the same venue.
TNT 102 – M. Williams 23, K. Williams 21, Erram 17, Pogoy 14, Castro 8, Rosario 6, Khobuntin 4, Marcelo 4, Montalbo 3, Ganuelas-Rosser 2.
San Miguel 93 – Fajardo 20, Cruz 16, Tautuaa 12, Perez 10, Manuel 10, Ross 9, Enciso 6, Brondial 6, Lassiter 4.
Quarterscores: 24-28, 53-50, 84-75, 102-93.