KELLY Williams' offense has taken a backseat as as he anchors TNT KaTropa's defense in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.
At 36, Williams has accepted a diminished role on offense as he shifted to center after TNT active consultant Mark Dickel asked him to focus on defense and rebounding.
It has been working well so far.
The 6-foot-6 Fil-Am is averaging 8.83 rebounds and 4.0 points through six games. Last season, Williams averaged 8.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in 32 games.
Williams is also averaging 1.17 steals per game, tying RR Pogoy for third best in the team.
“The biggest adjustment is I’m not really putting emphasis on my individual offense,” said Williams. “I think that’s the biggest change. We have enough scorers so I’m just trying to fill the role of what coach Mark wants and to the best of my ability.”
Williams’ performance hasn't gone unnoticed by his teammates specifically team captain Jayson Castro.
“Si Kelly, hindi mo nakikita ‘yung score pero sobrang malaking tulong. Nado-dominate niya ‘yung paint talaga,” Castro said. “Siya ‘yung anchor ng defense namin.”
Against Magnolia last Sunday, Williams grabbed 13 rebounds and had three steals in an 80-75 win that put the KaTropa at 3-3 before taking a break for the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Williams also pulled down 15 rebounds in TNT’s loss to Meralco on Jan. 30 .
“That’s my career. Filling the holes the coaches are asking for me. If they want me to score, I’ll score. If they want me to play defense, I’ll play defense. For coach Mark, defense is a real big thing. I’m just focusing on that,” said Williams.