Gilas taps 41-year-old Kelly Williams as front court continues to thin out

Feb 14, 2023

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Kelly Williams of Gilas Pilipinas.



Veteran big man Kelly Williams is set to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas following the absences of top choices like Kai Sotto and Japeth Aguilar

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas will have a familiar face inserted to its 24-man pool anew as veteran forward-center Kelly Williams will be brought in to replace the injured Ange Kouame. 

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Sonny Barrios confirmed the development on Tuesday, February 14.

The 6-foot-8 Williams, who had been a mainstay in the Philippine men’s national basketball team for almost two decades now, is expected to bring size to a depleted front court.

Williams, 41, last played during the first window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers, where he averaged 2.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in two games played.

A massive hole was left inside following the absences of Kai Sotto and Japeth Aguilar, who were reported to be unavailable for the sixth and final window of the qualifiers next week.

Sotto reportedly had not committed despite a “very good offer” tendered to him by the SBP.

On the other hand, Aguilar remained “immobilized” as he continued to recover from a knee injury he suffered during the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Among the other choices for the 12-man roster in its slate of games against Lebanon and Jordan are June Mar Fajardo, Raymond Almazan, and teenager Mason Amos.

Gilas will play against the two Middle Eastern nations on February 24 and 26, respectively, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. –

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