MERALCO coach Ryan Gregorio said import Terrence Williams will have to adjust quickly to the PBA brand of game if the Bolts would have a shot at making the playoffs of the season-ending Governors Cup.
Williams took 28 attempts while making seven for 19 points. He even took two hurried three-point attempts late in the game and, worse, gave up a foul on Barako Bull Eric Wise in the dying seconds.
Wise went on to split his foul shots in the final 1.3 seconds, allowing the Energy to pull off the come-from-behind 95-94 victory.
“I understand where he (Williams) is coming from. He’s a legit NBA player, and if you feel like you’re supposed to be in the NBA, sometimes, you take things for granted if you play in the PBA,” said Gregorio.
“But I hope this (loss) will serve as a wake-up call for him and that this is not an easy league. If he plays the right way, it could improve his game,” he added.
The Bolts came back from a 21-point deficit, grabbed an 11-point lead midway in the final period, before folding up late in the game.
“In terms of being patient, you can’t be patient with this kind of format,” said Gregorio, still disappointed after Williams took 20 attempts from the three-point zone and making just four.
“You just got to plug it in and do whatever it takes to fast-track the process of winning with him (Williams),” he added.
The 6-foot-3 Williams has the most impressive credentials among this conference’s batch of import, having been drafted 11th overall by the New Jersey Nets in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Williams, in fact, earned a reputation for being an explosive scorer in the NBA as he went on to post career averages of 7.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 153 games in four seasons with the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn), Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and finally, Boston Celtics.
The much-heralded Williams fired 10 three-point shots in Meralco’s only tune-up match last week, where the Bolts beat Alaska, 110-103.