Williams Is PBA's Top Pick; Fil-Am Cager Says He Will Sign with Realtors

Manila Bulletin, August 21, 2006 | Go to article overview

Williams Is PBA's Top Pick; Fil-Am Cager Says He Will Sign with Realtors


Byline: Noli Cruz

Kelly Williams was at the second floor of Market! Market! with buddy and former professional player Rob Johnson minutes before the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft.

"I'm just trying to relax," he said with a ready smile while accommodating autograph-seekers.

The Sta. Lucia Realtors calmed him down quick, naming him as this year's top overall pick and putting him in comforts of a brand new team jacket as thousands of spectators gathered above and around the Activity Center of the biggest mall in Taguig.

His proud Cebuana mother, the former Andrea Pasco, hugged him at the backstage after his name was called.

"It's a big honor for me to be part of this draft and to play in the PBA soon," Williams said.

He quickly quashed reports that he wouldn't sign up to a team other than San Miguel, saying that he's excited to learn about the Realtors.

"I'm not quite familiar with them, but I hope to fit in and contribute right away," said Williams.

The 24-year-old from Detroit, Michigan can get a maximum P150,000 on the first year of his contract with a 50-percent increase on the succeeding years until he reaches the P350,000 ceiling.

Williams first caught the fancy of local basketball fans when he suited up and had immediate impact with a superstar-laden national team.

He proceeded to lead Magnolia to a championship in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL), where he was named as the Finals MVP.

"We like his versatility. He can play the 2-5 positions with ease," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua. "They also said that he's very coachable."

Chua said he made up his mind to pick Williams three days before the draft with the blessing of team manager Buddy Encarnado. …

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