TWO key players from last year’s runner-up team make their return with TnT Katropa on Friday when they battle Columbian Dyip in the curtain raiser of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup doubleheader.
Import Joshua Smith and the fit-again Kelly Williams have been activated by the Katropa for their 4:30 p.m. encounter with the Dyip as they seek out a victory that will enable them to join idle Rain or Shine on top of the standings.
Smith takes over the place of former NBA player Jeremy Tyler, while Williams is coming off an undisclosed injury on his upper body that made him missed the team’s first five outings in the mid-season meet.
“Yes, he’ll finally be playing for the team,” confirmed TnT team manager Virgil Villavicencio on the eve of the fight with Columbian (3-3).
“But his playing minutes will be limited. Hindi naman siya bibiglain.”
Smith meanwhile, is back for another tour of duty with the team after falling short of helping the franchise win the same tournament last year following the loss to San Miguel in the finals.
The hulking, 6-foot-9 import arrived in the country last week straight from his stint in Japan. And unlike last year when he hobbled with a foot injury during the best-of-seven title series against the Beermen, Smith planed in healthy and in top condition.
“Malaki pa rin,” said Villavicencio. “But he added muscles to his upper body. At ngayon mas nakakatakbo siya. Kundisyon siya pagdating dito.”