FORMER PBA Most Valuable Player Kelly Williams is finally back in the country after a six-month absence as he looks forward to helping Talk `N Text win the Philippine Cup crown for the fourth straight time.
The veteran forward, who has long been battling a rare disease known as immunse thrombocytopenia putpura, showed up for the Tropang Texters’ preseason game against Air21 at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong just hours after arriving from the US early Saturday morning.
Shaking off jetlag, the 31-year-old Williams scored six points during a brief stretch in the third quarter of a game the Tropang Texters lost, 117-121.
Just the same, Williams said he’s more than happy to be back playing for the Talk `N Text franchise.
“It's good to be out there with the guys, got a lot of stuff to work on. My only concern is working towards the same page,” he told Spin.ph shortly after the game.
“But it feels good to be back on the floor with the guys. I'm happy to be playing again.”
Williams went on an indefinite leave from the team last April to seek treatment for his illness in the US, foregoing a chance to be part of the Gilas Pilipinas team that earned a berth in next year’s Fiba-World Cup following a runner-up finish in the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.
Williams said since leaving for his native Detroit, Michigan, he has been running to keep himself in shape, though his biggest concern really was to find a new medication that won't have any side effect on him.
“The plan was to just find a way to get off medication, but I'm still on medication. It's just a new treatment so I'll still gonna see where it goes,” he said.
“Just trying to run when I can (while in the US), a lot of manual labor, nothing spectacular, so probably I'm like 60 percent where I know I can be."
The many-time national player said he's still undergoing medical transition from his previous intake to the new one.
“I'm still in a transition stage of my medication. I'm still taking half of what I had before and half with the new one. So the new one does not gonna have any side effect I'm dealing with. But hopefully, it turns out fine,” he added.
Williams joined the Tropang Texters its their two-week training camp at the Joe Abunassar Impact Basketball Center in Las Vegas as part of the team’s preparations for its All-Filipino title defense.