MANILA, Philippines – GlobalPort import Justin Williams wants to show that he is more than just a tough defender and rebounder when he suits up for the Batang Pier in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
At 6-foot-10, Williams is primarily a rebounder and shot-blocker, but was challenged by GlobalPort coach Junel Baculi to show more of his offensive skills.
“It was different for me, because I’m used to playing defense,” Williams said on ANC’s “Hardball.” “Rebounding, blocking shots, I’ve done it my whole career.”
“But once they issued that challenge to me, I felt like I definitely came out and played hard, and I definitely stepped up my scoring,” he added.
Williams pointed out, however, that their team features a lot of scorers who can take control of the game offensively.
GlobalPort has traded for big man Japeth Aguilar and guard Sol Mercado, who will likely team up with former league MVP Willie Miller and three-time PBA leading scorer Gary David.
“We got a lot of scorers on our team now with some of the trades we made. That allows me to take pressure of me from scoring, and just focus more on what I do,” he said.
Williams stressed that while he can “score when needed,” his primary focus will still be leading the GlobalPort defense.
“I see a lot of our guys are looking for me back there, for blocking shots. They are able to rely on me a little bit and not worry so much about pressuring their man so hard, or keeping their guy in front of them one-on-one,” he said.
With their season beginning on Friday against Petron Blaze, Williams hopes their team will be able to work well inside the court.
“With the trades right now, we’re just trying to get our team chemistry together,” he said. “Our coach is doing a good job trying to get us as well prepared as possible with the time we have.”
“But we still have a ways to go with meshing with all the guys we got coming in,” Williams said.