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Veteran Williams hurts back in TNT series opener win

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TNT took Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at a steep price.

The Tropang Giga saw veteran Kelly Williams carted off the court midway in the third quarter of their 88-70 win over Magnolia in the best-of-seven series on Wednesday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga due to an apparent back injury.

TNT head coach Chot Reyes revealed that the 39-year old forward suffered severe back spasms.

Reyes said Williams hurt his back following a botched dunk attempt at the 5:23 mark of the third quarter. Williams was subbed out right after the ensuing play.

“He might have strained his back in that play where he tried to go for a dunk,” Reyes said.

Williams finished the game with 10 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal in 17 minutes of action.

Williams, who came out from retirement and joined Reyes on his return to TNT, previously missed TNT’s first four semifinal games due to the league’s health and safety protocols.

He made a rousing return in their 110-90 Game 5 win over San Miguel on 13 October and helped the Tropang Giga outlast the Beermen in their last three games.

According to Reyes, they are yet to determine Williams’ diagnosis, before identifying his status for their Game 2 on Friday.

“He can hardly walk, but I hope it gets better. But it does not look too good now,” Reyes said.

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