THE man credited for bringing Kelly Williams to the country wishes the Fil-Am forward the best as far as his health is concerned, saying the Talk `N Text star deserves to `live a normal life’ from here on.
National coach Chot Reyes took to social networking site Twitter his sentiment about the condition of the 6-foot-6 Williams upon learning that he’ll be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the PBA owing to a previous ailment.
“I’m not even thinking about (Fiba-Asia) or any competition. All I’m concerned about is him living as `normal’ a life as possible for his wife and kids,” said Reyes on his account @coachot.
Reyes tapped Williams as part of the 17-man training pool of Gilas Pilipinas that is currently practicing every Monday evening as part of its buildup for the Fiba-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship, the Manila tournament serving as qualifier for the world championships in Spain next year.
It was also Reyes who first saw Williams in the U.S. and eventually, he persuaded the Oakland University alumnus to come over and play in the Philippines the first time he was appointed national coach in 2005.
The national coach praised Williams for courageously playing through the ailment for the past years, even winning four championships for Talk `N Text after being traded by Sta. Lucia in 2010.
“For @KelWilliams21 2 have played at this high a level for this long while battling a crippling disease is testament to his courage & faith,” added Reyes in his tweet.
This developed as Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio said they have yet to discuss Williams’ status with the national team, although he said the decision is up to Reyes to make.
“Di pa namin napag-uusapan `yung tungkol kay Kelly kung ano ang plano sa Gilas. Siyempre, it depends on the extent. Now if the decision for his indefinite absence is basketball in general and not just Talk ‘N Text, then we’ll respect that,” Antonio told Spin.ph.
Antonio added Reyes has the option of naming a replacement for Williams, or just make it a 16-man pool instead.
“There’s an option to add. But then, di rin naman automatic na pag mawala si Kelly, hahanap ng kapalit niya. Kasi eventually, ika-cut down din naman ang lineup to 12,” he added.
Williams has been taking a form of steroids to combat an ailment he previously had in 2009 called immune thrombocytopenia purpura, a disease that causes a drop in his platelets, the tiny particles in the human blood system.