Willie Wilson earns Player of the Week nod for overseeing rise of Phoenix
Phoenix veteran Willie Wilson remains a force in the PBA at age 37. Jerome Ascano

UNDERSIZED forward Willie Wilson played an outstanding role in Phoenix’s king-sized 87-82 win over Barangay Ginebra recently to capture the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of Jan. 22-28 in the ongoing Philippine Cup.

Although the Kings played without injured Greg Slaughter and Joe Devance, Wilson still had to contend with Ginebra’s remaining big men like Japeth Aguilar, Raymond Aguilar and even Jervy Cruz. 

But the 37-year-old Wilson showed he’s up to the challenge, dishing off a “perfect” game after hitting 7-of-7 from the field to register 19 points off the bench.

The stocky Wilson was on beast mode during the middle quarters, spilling 14 points that saw Phoenix turn a tight contest into a 49-29 lead, providing enough cushion to weather off Ginebra’s late-game rally.

Wilson, Alaska's second round pick and 15th overall in the 2004 PBA Draft, also displayed an all-around effort after hauling down five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 25 minutes of the bench as Phoenix improved to 3-3 overall.

A former Ginebra forward, the 14-year PBA veteran bagged the weekly citation after beating teammate Jeff Chan, Rain or Shine guard Maverick Ahanmisi, Alaska’s Chris Banchero and Vic Manuel, Magnolia guard Mark Barroca, San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Ginebra’s LA Tenorio and Raymond Aguilar, as well as GlobalPort big man Kelly Nabong and Jonathan Grey.

Phoenix shoots for its fourth win and firm up its playoff drive when it faces Alaska on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

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