Filipino-American point guard Mikey Williams missed a total of 10 games before making his way back to General Santos-Burlington’s lineup last January 20.
But Williams’ return came in the form of a 75-87 loss to Bacoor City. The 28-year-old, Los Angeles-native then made another detour, joining Mighty Sports in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Championship, where he eventually helped the Philippines bag the crown.
Williams’ triumph overseas came with a set of consequences for his mother club, which was then fighting for a spot in the tight South Division playoff race.
Without the 6-foot-2 dynamo, the Warriors suffered consecutive losses to 1Bataan-Camaya Coast and Bicol-LCC Stores, respectively, which pushed their postseason hopes to the brink.
“I think it was a trial period where we really had to learn and see what we’re made of,” Williams shared.
“I feel there were a lot of mistakes made game by game, or just simple mental lapses that could’ve been fixed or, you know… could have not happened if I was around.”
GenSan’s heartbreaking 90-91 loss to Makati in Williams’ first game back from Dubai made things worse, extending the Warriors’ losing streak to four games.
With his team’s chances hanging in the balance, the product of Cal State-Fullerton delivered for GenSan when it mattered the most. Williams spearheaded the Warriors’ mauling of Sarangani to finally secure the last slot in the playoff picture.
He then showed his all-around wares in GenSan’s final game of the elimination round, tallying 12 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds in an 85-80 escape of Nueva Ecija.
Despite missing a huge chunk of games for the Warriors, Williams revealed that he remains more than committed to the team’s cause. He also hopes to repay their trust by leading the squad to the Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season crown.
“I’ll be here for the playoffs. Hopefully, we can make a run for the championship. We’ll see. I mean, we just got to take things game by game and see what takes place. We have a couple of days to practice. We have to get ready for whoever we got. Whoever it is, we have a game plan and we’re gonna be ready,” Williams said.
“I have great teammates, I have pretty good players all around. I bring a lot to the table but they bring just as much.“
In other games, Batangas City-Tanduay handed Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol with a 68-56 rout, while Yves Sazon lifted Marikina past Rizal-Xentro Mall, 87-86. In the nightcap, Caloocan-Victory Liner capped off its campaign with a tight 93-90 win over Mindoro-JAC Liner.
Story by Jonash Dannug