Best Player of the Conference: Kelly Williams

On: 24 February 2008

Son of Cebuana mother is first-ever Realtor to win conference MVP plum
Friday, 22 February 2008

Machine Gun Kelly is on a fiery roll, gaining yet another feather in his cap in only his sophomore year in the local pro league.

Prized Sta. Lucia Fil-Am player Kelly Williams won a Best Player of the Conference award after taking the Rookie of the Year honors last season.

Williams, a do-it-all forward out of the University of Oakland in Detroit, emerged the Smart PBA Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference, beating for the coveted award Alaska’s Willie Miller, Purefoods’ Kerby Raymundo, Air21’s Arwind Santos and Coca-Cola’s Asi Taulava.

Williams was the first Sta. Lucia player ever to win a Best Player of the Conference award.

Marlou Aquino and Danny Seigle were the only players to win the same award on a quicker pace. Both players won a BPC plum in their rookie years in the league – in 1996 and 1999, respectively. Aquino won it while still with Ginebra in the 1996 Governors Cup while Seigle won it with the Beermen in the 1999 Governors Cup.

"It’s a big honor for me to win this award. I’m sharing this with my teammates. Without them, I wouldn’t get this," said Williams, whose mother, Andrea, is from Cebu.

The 6-foot-5 high-flyer, a member of the RP team in the recent FIBA Asia Olympic qualifier in Tokushima, Japan, said he’ll be happier if they win the Smart PBA
Philippine Cup championship.

Williams was the runaway winner of the award as he gained the nod of the media, ABC Sports and the Commissioner’s Office. He placed second to Santos in the statistical race.

Williams amassed 1393 overall points to Miller’s 878, Raymundo’s 810, Santos’ 413 and Taulava’s 390.

Being the BPC winner, Williams will automatically make it as candidate for the season’s MVP award.

Before Game Four, Williams was averaging 18 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

He’s one of only six players averaging in double-double in the tourney and had made a
league-high 19 double-double outings after Game Three.

Williams emerged the top rookie last season, beating Santos for the award. Both made it to the Mythical Second Team.

The two players, who were Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the 2007 Draft, figured in a close fight in the stats race in the Philippine Cup. But while Williams was able to boost his team all the way to the finals, Santos and his team were booted out after the wildcard round.

Williams has providing the Realtors not just the scoring, rebounding and defense but all the intangibles not reflected on the stats sheets.

Recent history favors Williams in the MVP race, as nine of the last 10 winners of the trophy in the last 10 regular seasons have come from the all-Filipino champion.

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