PBA Player of the Week: Kelly Williams

On: 09 January 2008

For the third time this Conference, Sta. Lucia Realtor’s Kelly Williams got the nod of sports scribe as one of the two Smart Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period 31 December 2007 to 06 January 2008. The other player was James Yap of the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants.

In all 17 games played by the Realtors so far, Williams was the team's acknowledged scorer and prime-time rebounder, averaging 16.8 points and 11.1 rebounds respectively. Williams also logged in about 36.35 mpg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 spg and 1.35 turnovers per game. To emphasize Williams’ determination to lead the Realtors to the next round, he churned up 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as Sta. Lucia gave Magnolia a 99-77 drubbing that earned the Realtors at least a playoff for the second outright semifinals berth last 06 January 2008 at the Big Dome.

Should the Realtors win their last eliminations game against Air21 on Sunday (13 January 2008), they will stretch further their already franchise record longest win streak of seven while also going to the best-of-seven semifinals outright.

That win over the Beverage Masters was the Realtor’s 11th in 17 games overall, their most in an elimination round since entering the league in 1993 and coach Boyet Fernandez can’t help but point out Williams, who shone the most when rookie Ryan Reyes left the game early in the fourth period due to a wayward hit on the jaw.

“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,” said Fernandez. “Kelly is now an all-around player and I’m happy and proud of him.”

Of course it cannot be denied that the other Realtors also showed that they can provide big numbers when needed. Fil-American Ryan Reyes, the 6-foot-2 guard who was tabbed by the team as the third overall selection in last year's Rookie Draft, norms 11.25 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 23.9 minutes.

Providing solid backing for the two are fourth year forward Nelbert Omolon, who averages 11.1 points and 5.9 rebounds and transferee Dennis Miranda, who provides 6.7points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Meanwhile, Joseph Yeo gave the Realtors an instant offense coming the bench by averaging 12.06 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.8 assist and 1.1 steals per game.

But according to Fernandez, the important factor in his team's impressive showing is the veteran 'Twin Tower' of 6-foot-9 Marlou Aquino (8.3 points and 1.4 shot blocks) and 6-foot-6 Dennis Espino (10.9 points and 5.1 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."

Sta. Lucia's defense also held its previous seven opponents to an average of 87.8 points while scoring 94.0 points. The team is also the league’s best in forcing their opponents to turn the ball over (23.5 turnovers) and in steals (8.9 steals).

Since the format was instituted in the 2004-05 season, this is the first time SLR has earned at least an automatic quarterfinals berth. Barring any major injuries and attitude problems, expect the Realtors to reach greater heights this year.

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