The TNT Tropang Giga are drawing strength from the adversity they have been going through which enabled them to lead 3-2 in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals series against the San Miguel Beermen.

Kelly Williams (PBA)

On the cusp of clinching the All-Filipino title, TNT marched on in the series despite multiple injuries sustained by key cogs in Jayson Castro and Poy Erram both due to sprained ankles.

Castro went down in the third quarter after stepping on the foot of Marcio Lassiter and had to be taken out of the game after finishing his free throws while Erram managed to suit up fully despite him being a game-time decision.

For veteran Kelly Williams, the might shown by his teammates just goes to show that TNT is a squad built for adversity.

“Coach has been saying it all year — I think this team is built for adversity. And you had guys in and out throughout the year. Of course, Jayson’s a huge part of why we’re here but now it’s on us to fill the shoes collectively.

“‘Coz no one man will and I think everyone responded very well,” said Williams after the Tropang Giga beat the Beermen, 102-93, in Game 5 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night, Aug. 31.

READ: Kelly Williams credits teammates’ defense for slowing down June Mar Fajardo

In Game 5, it was the 40-year-old Williams who took over scoring duties as he posted 21 points on an 8-of-14 shooting including four three-pointers, nine rebounds, and three assists.

His scoring output marks the most point he registered in the post-season since making 23 in TNT’s 106-102 loss against Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Governors’ Cup.

READ: After vintage Game 5 performance, Kelly Williams looks back on decision to return to TNT

Williams added that the bashing and hate that head coach Chot Reyes, who is also the tactician for Gilas Pilipinas, also added fuel to the fire on why TNT had to double its effort in the Finals series.

Reyes has been under hot water and the recent booing incident in Gilas’ emphatic 84-46 win against Saudi Arabia in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers Monday night, Aug. 29, did not sit well among the national team members.

“Coach (Chot) has trained us in moments like these. When you see your coach going through the ridicule and the s*** in media and just throughout the Philippines, and the way he handles it, we have no excuse to look at anything and put our heads down,” said Williams, a former Most Valuable Player awardee and a seven-time PBA champion. “We’ve been trained for situations likes these.”

READ: Chot Reyes lauds courage of banged-up Tropa

Source: Manila Bulletin (