Individual Statistics (2007-2008 Phil. Cup Elimination Round)

On: 15 January 2008

After 18 games in the 33rd Season of the PBA, Kelly Williams emerged as the top scorer and rebounder for the Sta. Lucia Realtors. Williams averaged 16.72 point and 11.06 rebounds per game. Acquired by the Realtors in the 2006 PBA annual draft, Williams capped his all-around performance by churning up 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds in a 97-77 drubbing of Magnolia last 06 January.

With this kind of performance, no one in the team can be much happier than the sophomore Coach, Boyet Fernandez. "Kelly was a terror off the boards and he’s improving everyday on his offensive moves. But one thing (that’s been) little noticed is his defense. Kelly is now an all-around player and I’m happy and proud of him."

Another player who stepped up to give the Realtors the second and last automatic berth in the Final Four Sunday night was Nelbert ‘Bitoy’ Omolon. Averaging 12.67 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game, the former Philippine Christian University (PCU) stalwart fired a career-high 40 points in Sta. Lucia Realty's 123-106 win over Air21 last 13 January. Against the Express, Omolon was nearly flawless from the field, hitting 11 of 16 attempts, including 4-of-5 from the three-point territory. He was near-perfect from the charity lane, making 14 of his 17 tries.

AQUINO, Marlou13C1820.618.39
BUTEL, Philip09C63.671.00
CORONEL, Christian40G128.832.67
DAA, Dennis14F1715.593.76
ESPINO, Dennis16C-F1826.2811.11
GONZALEZ, Norman28F1815.725.61
MAMACLAY, Melvin19F45.002.00
MENDOZA, Paolo08G1820.286.61
MIRANDA, Dennis32G1825.566.78
OMOLON, Nelbert03F1826.2212.67
REYES, Ryan10G1723.6510.82
WILLIAMS, Kelly21F1836.5616.72
YEO, Joseph18G1823.5011.39

"People may have overlooked his offensive skills and with his 40-point production showed that his time spent doing those extra shooting drills after practice is surely paying dividends. Bitoy is now maturing to be an all-around player and a certified star of the PBA and I’m happy for him," the SLR coach said.

What is worth noting, however, is the backcourt tandem of Dennis ‘Denok’ Miranda and Ryan Reyes. Coach Fernandez acknowledged that one of the major reasons for the team’s 8-game winning streak is the defense of their backcourt.

"When we traded for Denok and gave up Alex (Cabagnot), a lot of people wondered if we did the right thing," said Fernandez. "Alex is a quality player but we needed Denok’s defense. We told Denok to forget about scoring and concentrate on quarterbacking the team, playing defense and getting organized. Our defense starts fro pressure in the backcourt to delay the other team’s execution. It starts with Denok."

AQUINO, Marlou13C1.10.11.39
BUTEL, Philip09C0.
CORONEL, Christian40G0.
DAA, Dennis14F0.
ESPINO, Dennis16C-F2.20.30.442.78
GONZALEZ, Norman28F0.
MAMACLAY, Melvin19F0.
MENDOZA, Paolo08G1.8
MIRANDA, Dennis32G4.41.7
OMOLON, Nelbert03F1.0
REYES, Ryan10G3.41.4
WILLIAMS, Kelly21F1.61.2
YEO, Joseph18G2.61.0

No wonder Miranda was the league’s leader in steals (1.7) and averaged 4.4 assists per game.

Reyes’ arrival from the 2007 draft, on the other hand, has been a blessing, said Fernandez. "Before the draft, I consulted Cap (Dennis Espino) and Marlou (Aquino) on whom to pick and we decided on Ryan because we like his defense."

Reyes is now averaging 10.82 points, 5.76 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 23.65 minutes per game. The third pick overall is also the leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year awards.

AQUINO, Marlou13C40.1633.3352.78
BUTEL, Philip09C50.00
CORONEL, Christian40G33.3415.15
DAA, Dennis14F42.950.0066.67
ESPINO, Dennis16C-F44.8139.5977.75
GONZALEZ, Norman28F44.9925.7786.91
MAMACLAY, Melvin19F33.3325.00NA
MENDOZA, Paolo08G37.5626.2691.67
MIRANDA, Dennis32G53.1419.4454.29
OMOLON, Nelbert03F56.0725.0060.13
REYES, Ryan10G39.5524.0178.06
WILLIAMS, Kelly21F48.6130.3649.36
YEO, Joseph18G38.7624.8565.24

"We all get along, the new guys and the veterans," said Reyes. "We’re all part of a family. The guys welcome me and have treated me like I’ve been with the team a long time. We have fun together and joke around. But we’re serious when it comes to playing the game. So far, so good. As long as we’re aggressive on defense, do what Coach tells us to do, play as a team and work hard, we’ll be fine."

According to Fernandez, another important factor in the team's impressive showing is the performance of veterans 'Twin Tower' of 6-foot-9 Marlou Aquino (8.39 points and 1.4 shot blocks) and 6-foot-6 Dennis Espino (11.11 points and 5.28 rebounds).

"Marlou and Dennis are really the source of strength, they are the leaders of this team," Fernandez said. "I'm so happy and proud that my young players are responding very well."

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