Players of the Week May 17 to 23

THE present and future of Talk N Text are steadily merging into one cohesive blend.

Jimmy Alapag and Kelly Williams are the prime examples of this when they shone the most for the Tropang Texters in the week that was, earning for themselves the Accel-PBA Press Corps’ Co-Players of the Week honors for the period May 17 to 23.

The TNT mainstay and the do-it-all player, along with Ryan Reyes and Charles Waters acquired from Sta. Lucia Realty last May 12, have consistently provided the Texters the spark and sustaining fire that kept their bid for a franchise record streak alive.

Teammate Macmac Cardona actually put up a higher two-game scoring average (17.5ppg), while Jay Washington of San Miguel Beer and Mark Caguioa of Barangay Ginebra also led their respective teams to similar 2-0 win-loss slates for the week. But their decent scoring numbers and sterling efforts on the game’s other departments made Williams and Alapag the hands-down choices by the scribes.

Even TNT coach Chot Reyes had to agree after the two came up big in wins over B-Meg Derby Ace last Wednesday and Sta. Lucia last Sunday.

“They didn’t have spectacular numbers, so it’s the other facets of their game – assists, rebounds – that are being recognized, and that’s good because while we lead the league in scoring (103.2 ppg) personal (numbers) should never be our players’ focus and these two are prime examples of that,” Reyes said.

The 6-foot-6 Williams came off the bench twice to average 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals while starter Alapag had norms of 13.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and an eye-popping 10.0 assists.

In the course of a 15-point, 10-assist game in TNT’s 114-89 win over Derby Ace, Alapag became only the 23rd player in PBA history to hit the 2,000-assist plateau.

“Mahirap tumbasan ‘yung 10 assists in back-to-back games, samantalang undeniable na spark naman si Kelly off the bench,” noted Reyes.

With a 9-2 win-loss card anchored on eight straight victories, the Texters are running second only to San Miguel Beer’s 10-1 slate. They have also equaled the franchise’s longest winning streak set in the 2002 Governors Cup and can break that if they prevail over Air21 on May 28.

It will be no secret who Reyes will be banking on the most in that game. (NC)