SLR in a World of Hurt

On: 26 May 2009

SLR Team Huddle

According to Sta. Lucia Realtors (SLR) coach Boyet Fernandez, star forward Kelly Williams is unlikely to participate in their succeeding games until he can stabilize his condition. Williams is suffering from a low platelet count and the Realtors are resting him to prevent further bleeding.

The current line-up is still capable of winning a few games, but it's going to be a long road.

Williams, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the professional league during the 2007-2008 season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), averages 13.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 39.22 minutes on the floor in his last 9 games. He is also the most agile and athletic player that the team can afford to put in charge of stifling the offensive numbers of the opposing import.

The SLR coaching staff is only telling their fans game-by-game that he's not going to play. However, it is becoming more obvious that any game from now on may have to be fought without No. 21.

This is just another instance of the Realtors delaying Williams return. Fernandez wanted a longer break until the crucial match-up against the Coca-Cola Tigers on 29 May 2009 to give Williams a chance to get back into playing form if ever he can recover. But it was evident during some practice drills that he is not even close to ready.

And while regular season losses without Williams still allowed the Realtors to avoid the bottom rung of the standings, any loss from hereon out is five times as devastating. A lost to the Tigers this Friday (29 May) would mean an early vacation for the whole team. They last won a championship during the 2007-2008 All-Filipino conference.

The Realtors may be able to fend off the Tigers since they have a much better match-up with Espino and Aquino down low, while Reyes and Yeo are capable of taking over a game. However, after that, it is not going to be easy since they might be playing against one of the most dominant team in the league, Burger King Whoopers.

Fernandez better have something up his sleeve.

Obviously Nelbert Omolon has stepped his game up. He has worked on his 12-foot jumper and is more of a force inside than he ever has been. The downside is that Omolon is not Williams. Not even by a long shot.

And if ever they can overcome the Whoopers? The second round will obviously be a lot tougher. The San Miguel Beermen and their deep bench will be a problem for Omolon, and if he gets into foul trouble (which he most likely will against several superstar forwards), then the Realtors are in a world of hurt.

So while every SLR fans hope that the team gets K-Will back, even if he is not 100 percent, they need a prayer and some players to step it up big time to get deep into the semis. Otherwise, as Espino and Aquino get older, the Realtors could return to the form everyone would like to forget from earlier in the decade.

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