What The Heck Were They Thinking?

On: 05 May 2010

Kelly Williams

It all started as a rumor. Later on the team's very own manager confirmed that they are willing to part with their marquee player given the right price. Now that nightmare seems to have become a reality for the Sta. Lucia Realtors.

Just two days after General Manager Buddy Encarnado announced that the company is not turning its back from the national team and are willing to loan Kelly Williams to the Smart-Gilas national developmental team, a report was unofficially released that the offer was taken by Talk N Text Tropang Texters and a trade was consummated.

The former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) was sent to the Texters in exchange for Jared Dillinger. Williams, in turn, will not be allowed to play in the PBA until the time he has already fulfilled his commitment with the national developmental team coached by Rajko Toroman.

This is like the case of 2009 top draft pick 6'9" Japeth Aguilar, who was selected first by the Burger King Whoopers, but was later traded to the Texters after playing only one game. An arrangement was made where Aguilar can only play with the Tropang Texters after the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship and, if ever the Philippines qualified to the 2012 London Olympics, he will only play after the Olympics.

Inside sources reported that Williams was informed about the management's decision only after he had reported for practice at 5:00 in the afternoon yesterday (4 May 2010). He left the gym with a heavy heart because, after spending three years with the Realtors and leading them to their first ever All-Filipino title in 2008, they did not inform him that they are trying to shop him around. Since he was chosen by the Realtors as the top pick in 2007, Williams led the team in both scoring and rebounding and is averaging double-double in both categories.

With the departure of Williams, sports critics say that the Realtors are unloading player after player to ease their financial problems. This has also fueled rumors that the management is indeed contemplating selling their franchise.

It can be recalled that the major players who were responsible for that All-Filipino title run were already released by the Realtors. First to go was point-guard Dennis Miranda, followed by team captain Dennis Espino and Norman Gonzalez. Before the start of the import-laden conference, the Realtors traded high-flying Joseph Yeo to San Miguel Beermen for a virtually untested Bonbon Custodio.

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