SLR 95, RoS 91

On: 07 January 2010

K-Will vs RoS

The Sta. Lucia Realtors desperately needed a win against Rain or Shine on 6 January 2010.

Things didn't look good, though, in the closing minutes and the Realtors' shot for a trouble-free entry into the quarterfinals of the KFC-PBA Philippine Cup appeared in jeopardy.

But with the game on the line, Kelly Williams took matters into his hands, scoring six straight dagger points inside 60 seconds as the Realtors held off the Elasto Painters, 95-91, at the Araneta Coliseum.

The 2007-08 MVP’s two free throws with 1:59 remaining tied the count at 89 then hit a tough turnaround shot to put the Realtors ahead to stay. The slam-dunking forward knocked in another jumper before Ryan Reyes made two free throws to complete an 8-0 wind-up that took the fight away from the Elasto Painters.

"Kelly was really terrific tonight. He stepped up in the closing seconds and made two crucial shots. That’s why he is the leader of this team," said Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez during the post-game interview.

Williams, who leads everyone in the conference in the rebounding department, turned in 25 points and had a career-high-tying 19 boards for his 11th double-double – the most by any player in the conference.

He was practically unstoppable in the fourth quarter accounting for 15 of his team’s 24 markers in the period.

"Kelly wasn't the only one who did well tonight. Ryan (Reyes) also did a good job working the backcourt and Jason (Misolas) hit some crucial shots when Rain or Shine threatened to make a run," Fernandez said.

The Realtors improved to 8-6 (win-loss) record, just a game behind Barangay Ginebra and Purefoods (9-6), to stay in contention for one of three outright quarterfinal berths.

"Before the game I told the players we need to win all our five remaining games if we want an easy way into the quarters. I’m glad they responded well," Fernandez said.

The Realtors will go for W No. 9 on Friday against struggling Burger King.

"I expect a tough match against Burger King. But we’ll be ready on Friday," Fernandez said.

Joseph Yeo scored 12 points, seldom-used Misolas had 10 and Reyes dished off six assists for the Realtors, who bounced back from a 112-117 loss against Talk N’ Text last Dec. 23.

Starting the new year on a high note, Sta. Lucia posted the games biggest margin at 28-18 late in the first quarter although the game was close the rest of the way, the count being tied seven times.

Rain or Shine, which dropped to a 4-11 slate, appeared to have seized the momentum when Jeff Chan knocked in a three that put the Elasto Painters ahead, 89-87, with 2:12 remaining.

But they went scoreless in the next 1:30 minutes, spoiling their efforts.

Gave Norwood scored 18 points and Chan added 17 for the Elasto Painters, who missed 14 of 31 free throws and 8 of 17 in the fourth.

Sta. Lucia outrebounded ROS, 62-42 and enjoyed a 15-6 edge off the offensive boards in the second half that netted them 14 points. (DBC)

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