Filipino-American Mikey Williams played his first game in Manila last Sunday. And as expected, the 26-year-old was in awe of the atmosphere inside the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“I love the culture of basketball here. It’s just really a wonderful feeling. It’s crazy in here. That’s how you want the gyms to be, packed out and loud,” reflected Williams, who is related to San Beda great David Brodett.
But after the game tipped-off, the honeymoon turned into a slugfest, as San Miguel Alab Pilipinas and the Saigon Heat figured in a dogfight.
The game itself saw numerous fouls called and techinical fouls slapped. Alab was able to take advantage of this, picking up a 22-point lead late in the third frame. Though Williams and the Heat were able to make a late-game rally, they fell short, falling to Alab 100-110.
Williams, who finished the game with 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists, admitted that the size of Alab and the physicality of the contest got the better of them.
“It’s been a good experience, no complaints. I just see a lot of areas I have to improve on, especially with the physicality,” the 6-foot-2 floor general confessed.
“As you can see, it was a physical game.”
But even if they have yet to beat the Philippine side in three tries, Williams believes that his squad will not go down easily when they host Alab on Saturday for Game Two. For the California-born cager, they will be giving Alab a good fight as they try to extend the series to a do-or-die tilt.
“We played really well in spurts but we lost the game on the boards — we got out-rebounded. We’re a small team and if we get them extra shots, it will be hard for us. We should have gotten those rebounds,” asserted Williams, who is averaging 18.11 points, 5.39 assists, 4.94 rebounds, and 1.06 steals this season. “But it’s just Game One, we know we are in for a fight.
“We’re going back to our place for Game Two and let’s see what happens.”