ALMOST forgotten in a deep Talk ‘N Text bench, Kelly Williams turned back the hands of time and reminded everyone he’s still a force to be reckoned with when called upon.
The former league MVP came through when nothing was going right for the Tropang Texters, bailing the team out of trouble for a 94-85 win over Kia Carnival to keep their hopes alive for a quarterfinal berth in the PBA Governors Cup Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Williams hit two three-pointers in the fourth period that defused a searing Carnival rally and allowed the Tropang Texters to finish their final elimination round game on a winning note.
The telecommunication franchise ended its campaign with a 5-6 (win-loss) slate for solo seventh and now awaits its fate on whether it could advance to the next round of the season-ending tournament or not.
“It’s wait and see na ngayon. That’s all we can do right now,” said coach Jong Uichico.
Williams finished with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range, including back-to-back treys in the payoff period just when the Carnival were in the midst of a huge fightback that saw the expansion franchise battle back from a 23-51 deficit to threaten at 72-67 early in the fourth.
A Jet Chang drive still had the Carnival within striking distance, 75-69, before Williams scored six unanswered points as the Tropang Texters kept the rookie team at bay, 81-69.
Steffphon Pettigrew still played for Talk ‘N Text and finished the game with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Asked if the team will stick out with Pettigrew despite reports Dominique Sutton is coming in to take his place should the Tropang Texters advance to the playoffs, Uichico was non-committal.
“I don’t know, we haven’t discussed it yet. We haven’t decided on who, when, and what,” he stressed.
Kia fell to a 4-6 card despite another impressive showing from Karl Dehesa, who led the team with 19 points. The Carnival though, still has a shot of making the playoffs with still one game left in Meralco next Wednesday.
“Wala, talo e,” said coach Chito Victolero. “Pero may pag-asa pa.”
Talk ‘N Text (94) – Castro 19, Williams 14, De Ocampo 14, Daghles 11, Pettigrew 11, Fonacier 7, Ganuelas 7, Washington 5, Aban 3, Seigle 2, Reyes 1, Carey 0.
Kia (85) – Dehesa 19, Chang 17, N’Diaye 9, Deutchman 8, Webb 8, Revilla 5, Bagatsing 5, Yee 4, Cawaling 3, Buensuceso 3, Nuyles 2, Alvarez 2, Pascual 0, Thiele 0, Avenido 0.
Quarterscores: 32-17; 57-38; 70-65; 94-85.