With a new wave of Filipino American players set to hit the country in the upcoming PBA D-League, one team felt like they just hit the jackpot heading into the tournament.
The Mindanao Aguilas believe they are getting the fine end of the bargain as they managed to snag Fil-American guard Michael Williams in the recent draft with their sixth overall pick in their maiden conference.
Williams, 24, is currently playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA D-League and is averaging 4.7 points and 2.3 assists in 15 minutes of action as a reserve guard for the Miami Heat-affiliate squad.
The 6’2 guard played for Cal-State Fullerton and San Francisco in college and has displayed a knack for putting up big points.
In his only year in Fullerton, Williams averaged 17.3 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Aguilas part-owner Rolando Navarro was so impressed with Williams to the point that he called him the “future of Philippine basketball,” and “the better version of Ray Parks.”
“We’re really blessed na napunta niya sa amin. We weren’t expecting him to fall to sixth,” said Navarro.
“We saw him play in the States. He played for Team Pacquiao a few times and talagang nakita namin siya maglaro, he is the future of Philippine basketball,” he added.
Navarro further added they are already in the process of fixing his papers and Williams could be ready for action in the D-League by February after missing a few games in the process.
The D-League have produced some great success stories for Fil-Americans including the likes of Cliff Hodge, Chris Ellis, Alex Mallari and Maverick Ahanmisi to name a few.
But there were also busts in the tournament which ended up going from one team to another, or worse, one league to another.
Whether Williams is for real or not, his showing in the tournament will ultimately be the judge.