NOT even cramps could stop Bill Walker from leading Blackwater to a drought-ending win in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday.
The replacement Elite import revealed he had cramped up since the four-minute mark of the third quarter of the game against Phoenix, but still bucked the adversity to will his team to a 92-86 victory - its first this conference and in seven games overall.
“You know my mindset: you gotta kill me off,” Walker said. “I'm going for the win. I'm a competitor and that's just how I feel. I don't look at the zero-three, we're zero-zero right now. Anything can happen, we just gotta believe and go out and play.”
“I'm just praying like, 'Just get me through this game,’” he added after finishing with 32 points, 15 boards, and five assists. He also drew enough help from the locals, especially Mike DiGreogrio on offense and Poy Erram on defense.
“The whole time, I was just trying to instill in my teammates that it doesn't matter if I score 50 points,” Walker said. “If we don't do this as a collective (unit), we're not gonna win. There comes a time, we're zero-three, you gotta get tired of losing. You just gotta go out there and compete.”
“Erram competed today, he went up against Phelps,” he added. “Phelps is no walk in the park, that's a big, mobile guy and Erram held him to 13 points. After he busted his jaw, he came back and he did that for the team. We rallied around that.”
Involving his teammates more seems to be Walker’s objective for the Elite after carrying a heavy load for NLEX last time and being tentative with Alaska before that.
“I'm looking at it like this: the first time I came, I didn't score enough they said - we lost. I went to NLEX, scored a bunch of points – we lost. So now, I know I can't just do it by myself,” Walker said. “I'm trying to get my teammates to come with me, I'm only as good as the whole. It is what it is."
And it took only one game for him to feel that he’s enjoying his play in the PH basketball.
“(This is) probably the most fun I've had playing here. Period,” Walker, who dropped his trademark dreadlocks for a cleaner look this time, admitted. “Today was just great.”