IT was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that he intends to be just that: just once.
Kelly Williams relished riding a motorcycle via the ride-sharing app Angkas on the way to Smart-Araneta Coliseum for TNT KaTropa’s PBA Philippine Cup game against Blackwater on Wednesday night.
Running late after leaving his house in Alabang in a car with his driver, the Filipino-American slotman found himself stuck in traffic at C-5, no thanks to a fire that was ravaging along a part of the southbound lane of the highway, and seeing firetrucks and ambulances all over.
That left Williams without a choice but to look for other means to head to the Big Dome, finding one in the ride-sharing app per the recommendation of his driver.
After booking a ride, Williams got out of the car in the middle of the elevated U-turn on C-5, got down from the flyover, and rode the motorcycle he booked, getting to the venue in Cubao in a breeze of just 40 minutes.
“Every stoplight, the other motorcycles pull up, double take, “Oh, what are you doing here?” “Hi guys!” the 6-foot-6 Williams related with a smile.
“It was fun, it was actually pretty fun, but never again,” he added. “Make sure you plan ahead guys if you possibly get stuck in traffic. But it was a good experience for me. You get to see Manila in a different light. It was fun.
“Initially, I was scared because he was swerving pretty well but we got used to it, it was fun,” he continued. “I was more worried about what coach would say but I got here.”
Williams would’ve done anything just to get to the game – and luckily he found a way.
“Anything” the 35-year-old cager said. “I considered running, I considered jogging. Whatever you got to do, crawl, walk or run. It was a good experience though, thank you to the cyclist, I think his name is Richard or something like that, he’s a lifesaver.”
“I’ve never done that in my entire career or been late like that for a game,” the 12-year veteran added. “But you know, one in 12 or 13 years isn’t bad, I’ll take it."
Still, Williams arrived at the Big Dome late with the game already halfway through the first period. After sitting out the entire first half, the former league MVP started the second half and finished with six points on 3-of-8 shooting, six boards, four blocks, and one assist in 17 minutes, helping his team come away with the win, 92-83.
“You got to come out there with extra effort after coming in late like that,” Williams said. “But it’s always my intention to come out and do whatever I have to do. Luckily, I was in a good position to get some blocks and it worked out that way.”
“Luckily, we got the win because it would make things a lot worse if we lost,” he added.
Still, Williams feels he has to make it up to his team.
“I apologize to the team,” Williams said. “I owe them a team lunch or something and I told coach I won’t do it again. Let’s pray that it doesn’t happen again.”
“I wasn’t expecting it (traffic) on a Wednesday, but we have to expect the unexpected sometimes,” he added. “It was a good experience – one in twelve years, I’ll take it.”